California Facilities Fined for Resident Deaths

Many of us know that the state of California has been under intense scrutiny for the way it has handled nursing home abuse and neglect violations. In addition to concerns about the frequency with which the California Department of Public Health has investigated a number of complaints, victim advocates also contend that facilities across the state aren’t fined enough to prevent future elder abuse violations.

According to a recent news release from the California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform (CANHR), the Department of Public Health has cited a couple of facilities in southern California for serious violations. And, according to the report, each of the facilities received a $75,000 fine—an amount that suggests that the state is heading in the right direction.

empty-bed-in-nursing-homeResident Death at Paramount Meadows

At the end of December 2014, Paramount Meadows Nursing Center in Los Angeles County received a Class AA citation, which was accompanied by a $75,000 fine, for the death of one of its residents. The victim, a 66-year-old resident at the facility, had repeatedly complained about pain and diarrhea. She suffered from a bladder infection, but due to inadequate care, she died as a result of the infection.

In the Department of Public Health’s report, it emphasized that the facility violated its duty to the patient in several ways, including but not limited to:

  •      Inadequate quality of care: under California law, a facility must provide its residents with “the necessary care and services to attain or maintain the highest practicable physical, mental, and psychosocial well-being.”
  •      Inappropriate treatment for urinary incontinence: when a resident suffers from urinary incontinence, a facility must ensure that she “receives appropriate treatment and services to prevent urinary tract infections and to restore as much normal bladder function as possible.”
  •      Inadequate infection control: California requires that nursing homes and other facilities “establish and maintain an infection control program designed to provide a safe, sanitary, and comfortable environment and to help prevent the development and transmission of disease and infection.”

The patient who died as a result of her injuries complained specifically of back pain, side pain, vaginal pain, and pain at the site of the catheter. She eventually became unresponsive due to her infection. Because the facility failed to provide the patient with adequate care, violating some of the laws mentioned above, it was assessed a $75,000 fine.

MacLay Health Center Receives Similar Fine

Around the same time, MacLay Healthcare Center, also located in Los Angeles County, received a $75,000 fine and a AA citation due to the death of a female resident. Like the patient at Paramount Meadows, the MacLay patient came to the facility with “a history of urinary tract infections, dehydration, and trouble swallowing.” The staff didn’t properly administer the fluids required by the patient’s nutrition plan, and she died from injuries only 14 days after arriving at the facility.

Nursing home abuse and neglect is a serious problem. If you have concerns about an elderly loved one’s safety, it’s very important to speak with an experienced San Diego nursing home abuse lawyer. At the Walton Law Firm, we have been helping elderly clients for years, and we can discuss your options with you today.

See Related Blog Posts:

Latino Elders and Rates of Abuse

Elder Neglect and Home Caregivers