As lawmakers in our state continue to think about elder abuse and the salient problems with California assisted living facilities, some of these residences are being ordered to pay damages for the harms they’ve inflicted on the elderly. According to a recent article in the Long Beach Press Telegram, a jury recently said that an assisted living facility in downtown Long Beach is liable for “hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages” connected to one resident’s spinal injury.
Has your elderly loved one suffered abuse or neglect in a California residential care facility? This is an important concern in our state, and juries take these cases very seriously. You should speak to an experienced San Diego nursing home abuse attorney about filing a claim for compensation.
Details of the Residential Care Facility
The Breakers of Long Beach is an assisted living facility within the historic Breakers Hotel Building. When driving up the coast from San Diego, you might have noticed it within the Ocean Boulevard skyline. It’s a 14-story building, and it was put up for sale last month with an asking price of $65 million. According to the news article, The Breakers of Long Beach is a residential care facility for elderly adults, and it’s licensed with the state of California. But as we know from numerous reports about poor standards in residential care facilities across our state, mere licensure doesn’t mean that The Breakers was properly caring for all of its residents.
The residential care facility is “affiliated with the Woodland Hills-based firm Sign of the Dover, which is also affiliated with The Sky Room restaurant on the top floor of The Breakers building and Topanga Assisted Living.” In other words, the owners of the residential care facility have connections to various for-profit ventures in Southern California. News commentators have suggested that the sale of the building might be linked to the elder abuse lawsuits.
What Are the Lawsuits All About?
The recent jury verdict is only one case against The Breakers of Long Beach. In this case last month, a jury found the residential care facility liable for an older resident’s spinal cord injury. A resident, Georgia Vickrey, sustained serious injuries to her spine after a dangerous fall. A judge in Los Angeles County ordered The Breakers of Long Beach to pay approximately $400,000 in compensation. According to the Long Beach Press Telegram article, the jury made clear that The Breakers had been negligent in their care of Vickrey, and that “the case qualified as an example of elder abuse due to reckless or malicious conduct.”
But two other cases against The Breakers have been filed. According to the article, one was settled last year. The parties in the remaining case planned to begin settlement talks in February of this year. In this case, a resident, Conrad Flake, died from complications resulting from “an ulcerated laceration on his leg.” The official report indicated that the cause of death “included the leg ulcer, severe sepsis and cardiopulmonary arrest.”
On his first day at the facility, Flake, 90, cut his leg and was transported to a hospital to receive stitches, but the facility failed to properly coordinate further treatment with a home health agency. Flake’s death sparked an investigation by a the Department of Social Services, which determined that Flake “did not receive proper care before his death.” If the parties don’t reach a settlement in the case, the trial is set to start as early as this September.
According to some of the plaintiffs’ attorneys in these cases, one of the primary problems with this residential care facility is that it’s run by business-minded real estate investors, rather than by elder advocates. Regardless of the reason, facilities like The Breakers of Long Beach should be held liable when they engage in acts of elder abuse or neglect. At the Walton Law Firm, our elder abuse lawyers have years of experience handling cases like these and can speak to you today.