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November 05, 2012

A nurse pleaded no contest last week after being accused of nursing home abuse involving improper care of a resident at a nursing home she formerly worked for in El Dorado, California.

39-year-old Rebecca LeAn Smith, was accused of playing a major role in the death of nursing home resident, Johnnie Esco, in 2008. As a nurse at the El Dorado Care Center, Smith’s role was to medically care for the patients and manage the staff that keeps up with their daily needs.

However, the prosecuting attorneys in the case stated that not only did Smith fail to provide the necessary medical care, but she didn’t supervise the staff members in charge of the victim’s daily care. As a result, Esco was seen with several bruises, fecal impaction, and wounds on her hands. She was taken to a hospital shortly after, where she died.

While in court, Smith stated she would own up to her responsibility, and expressed remorse to the victim’s loved ones:

“I have responsibility, and I have to own up to my responsibility. There were things that were missed. Things could have been done better.”

In addition to criminal charges, in 2010, Esco’s family hired a nursing home abuse attorney and filed a civil lawsuit against Horizon West Healthcare Inc. of Rocklin; the former owner of the El Dorado Care Center. The family was awarded close to $3 million in damages.


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