Nursing Home Abuse in California
California Nursing Home Receives 15 Citations for Nursing Home Abuse
May 7, 2011
The Olive Ridge Post Acute Care nursing home in Oroville, California received 15 citations from the state and was ordered to pay $15,000 in fines for illegally relocating 14 residents.
The California Department of Public Health says in 2010 the nursing home told residents that they needed to move to others facilities. The staff then began relocating the residents to other nursing homes. The state took action against the nursing home for breaking laws such as not giving residents ample notice of the move and not filing a relocation plan with the state.
The watchdog group California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform says the transfers were also illegal and a form of nursing home abuse since Olive Ridge did not make the relocations for acceptable reasons. The reform group says they think the nursing home was moving the long-term residents out to make room for short-term care residents who pay more for their rehabilitation.
If you or a loved one has been the victim of mistreatment at a nursing home were urge you to contact a nursing home abuse lawyer right away to discuss your legal options.
California Nursing Home Indicted for Nursing Home Abuse
July 12, 2011
Verdugo Valley Skilled Nursing and Wellness Centre of Montrose, California has been indicted for felony abuse and neglect. The nursing home’s former administrator is also charged.
The nursing home abuse occurred when the facility took in a mentally ill and suicidal 34-year-old man without proper training and staff to take care of him. The man was hospitalized twice after two suicide attempts but was returned to the nursing home both times.
The man eventually did commit suicide by firing a fire extinguisher into his mouth, which he had done once before at the nursing home.
The nursing home is currently open but will lose its license if it is convicted of felony abuse and neglect. A trial is scheduled for September 6.
Although the elderly most often suffer abuse and neglect in nursing homes, younger persons are still at risk when placed in a nursing home. If you have a loved one living in a nursing facility it is important that you watch for signs of neglect or abuse and report them to authorities immediately. You should also get in touch with a nursing home abuse lawyer if abuse did occur.
California Nursing Home Employees Charged with Nursing Home Abuse ‘Prank’
August 11th, 2010
Six former employees of Valley View Skilled Nursing facility in Ukiah, CA now face criminal charges for their role in nursing home abuse. As part of an apparent prank on other workers on the next shift, the former employees coated dementia patients with slippery ointment. The patients were unable to resist given their condition.
The onetime employees involved in the prank were all fired from the nursing home and have now been arrested and charged with misdemeanor elder abuse.
“This is despicable behavior by people placed in a position of trust,” Attorney General Jerry Brown said in a written statement.
The accused ex-employees were arrested after an investigation by the attorney general’s elder abuse bureau, and each were charged with one misdemeanor count of causing injury to an elder or dependent adult, battery committed on an elder or a dependent adult, conspiracy and battery committed while on hospital property.
“Mendocino County is home to a growing elder population,” said District Attorney Meredith J. Lintott. “We’re committed to keeping that population safe and to prosecuting those who take advantage of our elders.”
Dan Niccum from the nursing home’s parent company, Horizon West Healthcare, said four of the employees applied the ointment and two did not report the abuse. Niccum said the result was the employees being fired and the abuse being reported to the state.
California Nursing Home Cited for Nursing Home Abuse Related Death
July 05, 2013
A Sacramento, California nursing home has been fined and deemed responsible for nursing home abuse this week after an incident in 2012 in which a resident choked on food and died.
According to reports, 86-year-old Mary Yip was a resident of the Asian Community Center nursing home. Her medical records indicate that she suffered not only from dementia but a previous stroke, which made it difficult for her swallow. She required assistance at all times during meals. Yet, the caregivers at the nursing home neglected to assist Yip in January of 2012. Consequently, she died the next day after choking on a piece of meat.
FATE, a non-profit organization that protects the elderly, filed a complaint shortly after Yip’s death. The California Department of Public Health backed up the complaint, resulting in a Class AA citation and an $80,000 penalty against the nursing home.
This Wednesday, investigators released a public report, detailing the events surrounding Yip’s death. Even though physician-directed caregivers to carefully monitor Yip while eating, they did not. Additionally, Yip should have only been allowed to eat soft foods, yet she was eating meat. She started choking shortly after. A staff member attempted to perform the Heimlich maneuver but failed. By the time help arrived, Yip was unconscious and in complete cardiac arrest. She never recovered and died the next day.
Only four other nursing homes have received a Class AA citation in the past several years.
If your loved one has been victim to nursing home abuse and/or neglect, it’s important to retain the services of an experienced nursing home abuse attorney who can help you get the justice you deserve. At McIver Brown law firm, our team of dedicated California nursing home abuse lawyers is happy to assist you. Give us a call today for a free consultation.
California Nursing Home Charged with Nursing Home Abuse
December 28, 2011
Braswell’s Hampton Manor nursing home of Yucaipa, California along with three people have been charged with one felony count of elder abuse causing great bodily injury. The nursing home abuse is alleged by a criminal complaint filed by the California Attorney General’s Office.
The abuse allegedly happened last August. The nursing home, along with two people, were recently arraigned and pleaded not guilty, with a third person scheduled for video arraignment.
Two of the accused are due in court March 12 and were released on their own recognizance.
The abuse of our nation’s elderly in nursing homes across our country is unfortunately not a rare occurrence. We urge you to be on the look out for signs of abuse or neglect if you have a loved one in a nursing home. If you suspect abuse, report the problem to authorities immediately and contact a nursing home abuse lawyer to discuss your legal options.
California Nursing Home Abuse: Woman Denied CPR
March 7, 2013
Although it was 87-year-old Lorraine Bayless’s wish to refuse CPR last February after falling down in a local California nursing home, the owners of the nursing home consider it nursing home abuse that a former worker honored the victim’s wishes, allowing her to die.
According to reports, Bayless died on Feb. 26 after a nursing home employee on duty at Glendale Gardens in Bakersfield didn’t perform CPR on the victim, as directed by a 911 dispatcher. In a 7-minute recording, the employee can be heard exchanging heated words on a 911 call. However, against the dispatcher’s advice, the employee waited for medical help to arrive, stating that she is not qualified to perform CPR. By then, it was too late, and Bayless had passed away.
In the beginning, owners and administrators of the nursing home stated that the employee did the right thing by waiting for the medical team to arrive. Yet, in a statement released this week, the company has since changed its mind. The company now suggests that the former employee didn’t proceed in the correct way:
“This incident resulted from a complete misunderstanding of our practice with regards to emergency medical care for our residents,” the company said.
The victim’s family, on the other hand, said that they respect the wishes of the deceased victim, who had always said she wanted to die naturally. However, per California laws, they do have the option of retaining a California nursing home abuse attorney and filing for civil damages.
At this time, the former employee is not facing any criminal charges. However, the Bakersfield Police Department is investigating the incident in order to determine if a crime was actually committed. In addition, the California Board of Registered Nursing (CBRN) is involved. Per the CBRN, there is cause for concern after the employee made no attempts to locate someone qualified to perform CPR.
California Nursing Home Abuse Case Reaches Plea Deal
February 11, 2012
A plea deal was reached in a sexual nursing home abuse case in California when a former certified nursing assistant pleaded guilty to neglecting a dependent adult under circumstances likely to produce great bodily harm.
The abuser will be sentenced to three years of probation during which time he will not be able to work with the elderly.
The man was originally charged with a lewd act on a dependent adult, felony sexual battery on an institutionalized victim, and misdemeanor abuse of a dependent adult abuse.
The former CNA is also now a registered sex offender for a separate case where he had a sexual relationship with an underage girl. He was serving a two year prison sentence when he was charged with sexual nursing home abuse.
The Senior Deputy District Attorney said a plea deal was in the best interest of the case and victim, calling it a “fair resolution”.
We advise victims or family of victims of nursing home abuse to contact a nursing home abuse lawyer. A nursing home abuse attorney is an expert in nursing home litigation and will help fight for justice for you and your family.
California Court Reinstates Nursing Home Abuse Lawsuit
August 19, 2012
A lawsuit against a California nursing home chain over failure to provide adequate staffing has been reinstated by an appeals court. The appeals court said patients can sue nursing homes for violating the California nurse-staffing requirements.
The lawsuit was filed against Covenant Care nursing homes by a group of residents who claim that over a four year period 16 nursing homes in Alameda County did not meet the California staffing requirements 35 percent of the time.
The case was previously dismissed when a Superior Court judge ruled that only state regulators had the authority to enforce the staffing requirement. However, the 1st District Court of Appeal in San Francisco said that when the requirement of 3.2 hours of care per day to each patient is not met at nursing homes residents can indeed sue for the violation.
Perhaps the single biggest cause of nursing home abuse and neglect is nursing homes favoring profits over patient care and not providing adequate staffing and quality care. What results is everything from bed sores to physically abusive staff.
We advise anyone concerned that a loved one is being abused in a nursing home to contact a nursing home abuse lawyer and stand up for your rights.
California Caretaker Arrested for Financial Nursing Home Abuse
June 10, 2011
A nursing assistant at Villa Valencia senior living community in Laguna Hills, California was arrested under suspicion that he stole credit cards from at least three nursing home residents, spending approximately $4000.
The man was caught on a store video camera using a stolen credit card and was identified by nursing home workers. Two other credit card thefts are suspected to be tied to the same caretaker, and police are investigating if there were more victims.
The man, who worked at the nursing home since 2009, was arrested on suspicion of elder financial abuse, burglary, and identity theft.
Financial nursing home abuse is one of the more common ways our elders can be taken advantage of and abused while in a nursing home. Family member of nursing home residents are encouraged to keep track of their loved one’s finances and report any suspicious activity to the police. You may also want to contact a nursing home abuse lawyer to go over your legal options.
Arrests Made in California Nursing Home Abuse Case
July 7, 2012
Five members of a San Jose, California family that ran an unlicensed nursing home have been arrested for severe nursing home abuse issues including physically abusing and not properly feeding and bathing the mentally disabled residents in their care.
Police report that the residents were beaten, malnourished, rarely bathed, and not allowed to use toilet paper. Their living conditions included no running water, spoiled food, and feces littered the floor caused by dozens of likewise neglected dogs.
More than a dozen residents were rescued and are now in protective custody. However, police think there may be more victims and are asking anyone with information to contact Det. Monica De La Cerda of the San Jose Police Department at (408) 277-3700.
The more than 20 dogs found on the premises have also been rescued.
The five accused abusers face up to 18 years in prison for felony charges including dependent adult abuse and animal neglect.
Horrific tales of nursing home abuse throughout our country remind us that we need to be vigilant about reporting any suspicions we have of abuse or neglect to the authorities. If you or a family member was abused we also encourage you to contact a nursing home abuse attorney.
$23 Million Awarded in California Nursing Home Abuse Case
April 12, 2013
A Sacramento, California jury has awarded the plaintiffs in a nursing home abuse case $23 million this week after the Seattle-based company, Emeritus, was found to be responsible for the abuse and neglect that led to the death of an 81-year-old woman.
According to court reports, the lawsuit was filed on behalf of victim, Joan Boice. Boice, who suffered from dementia, was accepted into the Emeritus at Emerald Hills nursing home in Auburn, where according to family members, she was left with neglectful and untrained staff members who weren’t qualified to deal with someone with dementia.
While at Emerald Hills, Boice developed a series of serious illnesses, including pressure wounds, bed sores, and more. This happened during only a three-month stay at the nursing home. Ten weeks later, during February 2009, Boise died at an intensive care unit after being transferred from Emerald Hills.
As a result, the victim’s family retained a nursing home abuse attorney and filed for damages. The verdict rendered one of the largest damages amounts received in California: $22,963,943.81. We encourage anyone suspicious of nursing home abuse in California to seek the counsel of an experienced California nursing home abuse lawyer.
According to reports, Emeritus plans to appeal the decision. However, the company already had several other similar lawsuits against them in the past, including pressure wounds incidents in one of their Florida Nursing Homes, and a staff lawsuit in Texas.
In addition, this is not the first complaint against Emerald Hills. In 2007, a former nurse at the facility wrote an extensive letter to Emeritus executives, explaining that the nursing home was so understaffed that it was impossible to provide quality care to all of its residents. The nurse never heard back from Emeritus and resigned shortly after.
Former California Nursing Director Sentenced for Nursing Home Abuse
January 15, 2013
A former nursing director at a Bakersfield, California nursing home was sentenced to prison this week for nursing home abuse which led to the death of three residents.
According to the California Department of Justice, Gwen D. Hughes was employed as a nursing director at the Kern Valley Healthcare District in Lake Isabella in 2007 when she ordered a local hospital pharmacist to prescribe psychotropic medications to 23 residents. However, the medications were not for medical or therapeutic purposes. Instead, the medicines were used to quiet down patients that Hughes considered noisy, rude, and/or argumentative. As a result, all 23 patients experienced adverse physical reactions, and three patients died shortly after. Most of the patients suffered either from dementia or Alzheimer’s, according to officials.
Per Attorney General Kamala D. Harris, Hughes purposely medicated the patients for her own peace of mind. As a result Harris pushed for a prison sentence:
“This defendant maliciously and dangerously drugged patients for her own personal convenience. This is clearly outrageous conduct that justifies a state prison sentence.”
The investigation also found that Dr. Pormir, the nursing home physician, failed to monitor the condition of the patients after they were administered the medication. In 2012, Dr. Pormir was sentenced to 300 hours of community services. He now faces pending civil charges after the family of the victims retained a California nursing home abuse attorney and filed for civil damages.
This week in court, Hughes was sentenced to three years in state prison for her participation in ordering the medications to the patients.
Feds Investigate Nursing Home Abuse in California
November 3rd, 2010
The U.S. Department of Justice is looking into reports of nursing home abuse and nursing home neglect in Northern California nursing homes. A statement about the probe says DOJ investigators will look at inappropriate use of psychiatric medications and poor care resulting in injury or illness. Also under investigation are nursing homes that release sick patients or block admission to patients returning from a hospital.
The federal health reform law signed by President Obama in March includes the Elder Justice Act and is at least partly responsible for the investigation. The Elder Justice Act calls for cooperation between the U.S. attorney general’s office and other government agencies to prevent elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation.
Local elder care ombudsman offices were asked by the DOJ to compile a report regarding quality-of-care complaints. The report was then submitted to prosecutors.
DOJ spokesman Jack Gillund said the investigation is ongoing and the report has therefore not been made public. Gillund said the public can still submit complaints about their own experiences to a local ombudsman office or to the California Department of Public Health.
Elder Sexual Abuse Lawsuit Filed Against California Nursing Home Following Death of 93-Year-Old Woman
June 2, 2014
An elder sexual abuse case has emerged from a Bakersfield, California nursing home following the death of a 93-year-old woman in May 2013.
Ivan Bonds had been a resident of Evergreen Arvin Healthcare since 2001. The elderly woman was sexually abused so severely that she died from her injuries.
When Bonds’ granddaughter Angela Jourdan, who along with Bonds’ other granddaughter Patricia Holcomb is suing the Evergreen facility and its parent company, received a phone call from a Bakersfield hospital nothing could have prepared her for what she was about to hear.
Bonds was found in a pool of her own blood. She had been assaulted six hours earlier. She was immediately taken to hospital where surgeons stitched up a laceration on her genital region. Doctors determined that the cut was caused by rape. A pool of blood had accumulated in her vaginal canal which had begun to clot. Evergreen staff claimed that the injuries were sustained from Bonds scratching herself. Two weeks later she died at home.
The facility was fined $20,000 by the California Department of Public Health who investigated the incident. It emerged that the attacker was one of the facility’s certified male nursing assistants although his name has not been released. Bonds’ granddaughters claim that Evergreen staff knew that the man was a sexual predator but failed to do anything about it.
When in the home Bonds needed round the clock support from facility staff as she was unable to speak or get around independently. She was completely vulnerable and needed their day-to-day support and care. Disturbingly, ongoing investigations conducted by Arvin Police have discovered that there may be multiple residents who have also been abused.
The lawsuit filed claims that the Evergreen facility did not handle the situation properly. The home has a poor rating from the California nursing home website and a string of unreported abuse allegations. California law states that if there is misconduct, abusive or inappropriate behavior then a nursing home must immediately report the allegations to a police department. That did not happen.
Sexual abuse of the elderly is one of the most heinous and dangerously underreported crimes that come out of U.S. nursing homes. Often difficult for victims to discuss or admit what has happened, it can also be hard to spot the signs of sexual abuse. Due to illness, some elderly victims are unable to speak out against their abusers or in many cases, they are intimidated into keeping quiet. Some of the signs to look out for can include bruising or handprints on the body, blood stains or bleeding, unusual fear or anxiety, depression, and withdrawal.
If you suspect that your elderly relative or loved one is being sexually abused then it is important to contact the authorities immediately so that the situation is properly investigated. It is just as important to then seek out legal advice from a dedicated sexual or elder abuse lawyer who can guide you through the next steps.
McIver Brown Nursing Home Law Firm has successfully represented victims of sexual abuse, molestation and rape in nursing homes, hospitals and long-term care facilities. The team members and attorneys understand the sensitive nature of these types of cases and are here to ensure that victims and their families get the support that they need.
California Women Sentenced for Nursing Home Abuse ‘Prank’
August 10, 2011
Two former nursing assistants at Valley View Skilled Nursing facility in Ukiah, California who orchestrated a ‘prank’ on dementia patients involving covering them with slippery ointment were sentenced to 20 days in jail and received two years probation.
Other nursing assistants involved in the nursing home abuse had their licenses revoked and were placed on two years probation and must complete community service assignments. They were also immediately fired by the nursing home when the case broke in 2009.
The “prank” involved coating seven defenseless dementia patients with a slippery ointment for the next shift of workers to deal with. None of the residents were physically harmed during the ordeal.
“Elder abuse in any form, including the lack of dignity and respect for elders, will not be tolerated,” said Deputy District Attorney Douglas Parker.
If you think your loved one is being abused or neglected in a nursing home you should report the problem to authorities immediately and also contact a nursing home abuse lawyer.
California Woman Sues for Nursing Home Abuse Involving Chemical Restraint
August 31, 2011
A California woman is suing Country Villa nursing home of Seal Beach, California for giving her an antipsychotic medication in order to chemically restrain her. She also claims the nursing home tried to collect her Social Security checks.
State invetigators found that the woman had indeed been given the wrong medication, an antipsychotic drug used to treat schizophrenia. She was given the medication for anxiety but, by the nursing homes own policy, antipsychotic drug, should not be used on patients if their only symptom is anxiety.
She was also continually given a drug for dementia, against doctors orders to cease giving her the medication.
The lawsuit claims that all of these unnecessary drugs left the woman disoriented and the nursing home tried to collect her Social Security payments.
A spokesperson for Country Villa said that patient safety is their first priority and all allegations of nursing home abuse are investigated and handled appropriately.
We advise anyone who believes they have been a victim of nursing home abuse to contact a nursing home abuse attorney as you may be entitled to financial compensation.
California to Offer Bonuses Aimed at Preventing Nursing Home Abuse; Critics Are Wary
November 15th, 2010
California state official are working on a plan to offer financial incentives to nursing homes that meet certain care standards. The five care standards include the ratio of nurses to patients, minimizing physical restraints, and preventing bedsores.
The plan involves about $40 million in Medi-Cal rate increases next year with nursing homes that score best receiving more money.
Officials of the state Department of Public Health and the Department of Health Care Services like the idea of giving bonuses based on quality, and say it should motiviate nursing homes to provide better care.
However, some critics say the plan doesn’t do enough to stop nursing home abuse. They cite that the plan doesn’t penalize homes that use powerful drugs to restrain patients, and would still allow bonuses to be given to homes that are guilty of violations.
“You could find nursing homes that have been responsible for abuse, neglect, or the death of residents who would qualify for a bonus payment,” Deborah Doctor of Disability Rights California said. “They would be able to advertise themselves as award-winning.”
California Seeks to Better Educate Public on Nursing Home Abuse
August 24, 2011
Recent opinion pieces in the California newspaper the Ventura County Star debating the prevalence of overmedication as a form of abuse in nursing homes has spurred the town to hold a Community Educational Forum. The free forum will be September 29 at the Ventura TowneHouse, 4900 Telegraph Road, from 1:00 to 2:30 PM.
Both sides of the debate have weighed in via the Ventura County Star newspaper and now a panel of senior citizen advocates, nursing home administrators, and medical doctors will try to accurately convey to the community if drug abuse in nursing homes is indeed a cause for concern.
Overmedicating nursing home residents as form of chemical restraint is something that has unfortunately been found in nursing homes across the country. Such nursing home abuse can lead to health problems and even death.
We encourage all those who suspect a nursing home resident has been overly medicated or given the wrong medication to notify the authorities immediately and contact a nursing home abuse lawyer who can help you with the complexities of these types of cases.
California Nursing Home Sued in Nursing Home Abuse Case
October 29, 2011
A lawsuit filed against a California nursing home and home health care company claims that an 80-year-old woman suffered various injuries due to negligence on the part of the nursing home and home health care company.
The lawsuit was filed by the daughter of the elderly woman and claims that while under the care of Accentcare Home Health of California the woman was left unattended and fell which resulted in her breaking her hip.
After the fall, the elderly woman became a resident at Petaluma Health and Rehabilitation. The lawsuit alleges that the nursing home was negligent in its care of the woman leading her to suffer infection, dehydrating, and malnutrition.
The alleged victim is now in hospice care at her home.
A nursing home abuse lawyer will play a vital role in this apparent care of nursing home abuse, in which the attorney will try to bring justice to the victim and her family, as well as help prevent further abuse and neglect.
California Nursing Home Sued for Alleged Nursing Home Abuse
October 11th, 2010
Evergreen Gridley Healthcare Center in California is being sued for allegedly not properly treating an elderly man and then forcing treatment on him against his wishes.
William Paul Bonds, now deceased, was admitted to Evergreen in 2009 because of “functional decline”. Bonds’ doctor had ordered that he receive medication to control fluid buildup in his body. When Evergreen did not administer the medication as instructed the patient’s body began to swell. Bonds’ doctor then ordered a new medication be given but it was not administered until the following day.
“The several days Mr. Bonds went without a diuretic resulted in severe generalized edema (accumulation of fluids), which became difficult to control and resulted in severe and painful skin blisters,” the lawsuit states. “Furthermore, as a result of the severe edema, Mr. Bonds’ health condition significantly deteriorated and he lost interest in his own health. He subsequently began to refuse health care.”
According to the suit, Bonds stopped eating meals, and when he had not had a bowel movement for three days he was given a laxative and then a suppository–which he did not want–but neither helped. Bonds was on “comfort care” and was not to be given unnecessary treatment–especially treatment he did not want. But the next day a registered nurse order a licensed vocational nurse to give bonds another enema. Bonds told the LVN he did not want the treatment and she complied with his wishes. The LVN was then fired.
Later, the suit states, the nursing home abuse continued when the RN obtained two staff members who restrained Bonds and despite his “protestations and screams” forced the enema on him “causing him extreme physical and emotional distress.”
Bonds died in Gridley the following month after the incident.
Joe Earley, the attorney for Bonds’ daughter, who filed the lawsuit, said since Bonds was of sound mind, he had the right to deny any treatment he did not want as long as withholding it didn’t jeopardize the health or safety of anyone else.
California Nursing Home Shut Down Following Nursing Home Abuse Allegations
January 17th, 2011
A California nursing home is currently shut down in the midst of claims that nursing home abuse caused the death of an elderly resident. The family of 73-year-old Kyong Duncan installed video surveillance is the woman’s room and says the video proves abuse caused Duncan’s death. An autopsy also revealed Duncan had a deadly amount of narcotics in her system.
The video shows two nurses picking Duncan off the floor and putting her in her wheelchair. Duncan is then thrust back in her wheelchair as a nurse jerks the chair backwards onto two wheels and shakes the wheelchair along with Duncan.
An attorney for the Fair Oaks Nursing Home is claiming the video has been revealed for sensational purposes.
The family of Duncan says during the eight months that Duncan was at the nursing home a lack of medical attention, misuse of drugs, and other abuses caused her death.
If you suspect a loved one is being abused in a nursing home you should get in touch with a qualified nursing home abuse lawyer to discuss the situation and what actions you should take.
Visitor Shares Her California Nursing Home Abuse Case
September 25, 2011
After a severe stroke and other medical complications, my husband “M” spent eight months in a “good” nursing home and received terrible “care.”
On day one, neither the admitting nurse or physician noticed that “M” had a large bandaged wound on his upper arm. l called it to their attention on the fourth day to change the dressing.
Unfortunately, that was just the beginning.
“M” was frequently left in his urine-soaked bed. I visited almost every day and very often found him laying in strong-smelling urine. He had numerous urinary tract infections which were not adequately treated. (After I took him out of the nursing home and put him in an assisted living center, I took him to an infectious disease doctor, who cured him.)
His blood sugar dropped to the forties at one point. He got pneumonia. A nurse dropped bandage material on the floor, then used it on “M’s” open wound. The aide staff made “M” pull his partially paralyzed body up in bed, rather than use a sheet draw. The nursing home doctor never initiated a neurological evaluation or other aggressive therapy to help “M” recover as much as possible. He only received the proper services AFTER I took him out of the nursing home.
I kept a diary and frequently brought my concerns to the attention of the medical director, verbally and in writing. But those efforts never resulted in any longterm progress or corrective action. After “M” was situated in the assisted living center, I filed a complaint with the state agency charged with investigating bad nursing home care. After months of “investigating” the agency found no significant deficiencies.
If you or a family member is made to endure bad care in a nursing home, keep records of the nursing home abuse or neglect. Call it to the attention of the nursing home, and I advocate that you sue the nursing home [find a nursing home abuse lawyer] in Small Claims Court for breech of contract. It doesn’t cost much and it is an opportunity to have a public hearing. We were awarded more than $7500.00 in California.
Two California Nursing Homes Fined for Nursing Home Abuse Related Deaths
December 20, 2011
Newport Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Newport Beach, California and Emeritus at Yorba Linda both received Class AA citations and were fined for nursing home negligence that led to the death of two people.
The California Department of Public Health issued the Class AA citations, the most severe penalty the state can give and fined Newport Nursing and Rehabilitation Center $100,000 and Emeritus $90,000.
Investigations at the nursing homes found that Newport Nursing and Rehabilitation Center did not provide necessary safety and supervision which led to one resident’s death. And Emeritus’ negligence in not providing a resident with a special diet caused the resident to choke to death.
In situations such as these where nursing home abuse has led to the death or injury of a resident we advise family members to contact a nursing home abuse lawyer to discuss their legal options. Doing so can help your family receive financial compensation and help prevent further nursing home negligence in the future.
Three California Nursing Home Workers Charged with Nursing Home Abuse
March 7, 2011
Three former employees at the Idylwood Care Center in Sunnyvale, California have been charged with nursing home abuse. One man is accused of elder abuse and battery while the other two ex-workers are charged with knowing about the abuse but not reporting it.
According to other employees at the nursing home, the 27-year-old man accused of abuse was seen grabbing an elderly man with the intent to abuse him. The two other male employees, ages 22 and 50, who apparently knew of the abuse were required by law to report it; however, they did not.
All three men have been charged with misdemeanors and a spokesman for Idylwood Care Center says they no longer work at the nursing home.
Physical abuse of the elderly in nursing homes is all too common. If your loved one has been abused in a nursing home, or if you have suffered abuse in a nursing home, we urge you to contact a nursing home abuse lawyer immediately.
Second Nurse to Stand Trial in California Nursing Home Abuse Case
November 28, 2012
Earlier this month, 39-year-old nurse, Rebecca LeAnn Smith, plead guilty to nursing home abuse and neglect against a resident in an El Dorado County, California, nursing home. This week, a 2nd nurse was summoned to trial in connection with the death and abuse of the same victim.
In 2008, 58-year-old Donna Darlene Palmer was the director of nursing at the El Dorado Care Center. She was also responsible for the daily care and needs of resident, Johnnie Esco. According to the attorney general, Smith failed to properly perform her duties, failed to supervise others correctly, and failed to help Esco in time, which led to her unnecessary and untimely death.
Earlier this month, Smith plead no contest to a felony nursing home abuse charge in exchange for a lighter sentence consisting of the chance of no jail time and her assistance in testifying against Palmer. In addition, another employee testified that she was ordered by Palmer to not send Esco to a hospital for two days in a row, even though the patient’s condition was worsening each day.
In addition to facing criminal charges, Palmer may also face civil charges should Esco’s husband, Don Esco, retain a nursing home abuse attorney and file a lawsuit.
San Diego Man Found in Horrific Conditions in California Elder Abuse Case
March 01, 2014
An elderly California resident was discovered living in horrific conditions in his home in the picturesque area of La Jolla street, San Diego, in March 2014.
Investigations by the police revealed that 90-year-old Robert Stella was being cruelly mistreated by his live-in girlfriend, whom he befriended years before in a startling and strange elder abuse case. The woman, who is believed to have been homeless at the time she was taken in by Stella, met him in an alley behind Mary Star-of-the-Sea Church, according to the elderly man’s family. Family members were shocked to hear that the 57-year old woman had declared herself to be the man’s friend and caregiver.
Stella’s granddaughter, Emily Criscuolo, told officers that the 57-year old woman isolated her grandfather from other family members, depleted his bank account and drained him of his health. Stella, who is a retired nuclear physicist and veteran of World War II, was badly malnourished when police found him at his home. Now his family are accusing his live-in girlfriend of tying him up whenever she went out and drugging him. His family have ordered the woman to vacate Stella’s property immediately.
The abused elderly man was removed by ambulance from his home after family members arrived with police to put an end to the horrific situation. He is now being treated for severe bedsores at a facility close to his home. In a shocking twist to this story, a sealed court document was discovered by the family which they believe could be a marriage certificate between the man and his abuser. However, attorneys need to obtain a court order to open up the document and verify its contents. Neighbours commenting on the terrible scenes unfolding in their neighborhood remembered Robert Stella during his healthier times and said they were shocked at what had taken place.
Do you suspect that a loved one or an elderly friend is suffering from any form of abuse or neglect? If so, do not hesitate to contact an expert nursing home abuse law firm. McIver Brown can be that firm for you. We evaluate all aspects of your case, guiding you every step of the way. Our attorneys have years of experience assisting people nationwide in securing compensation for injury or harm, caused by neglect or abuse at the hands of negligent or malicious parties. Do not stay silent if you believe that your elderly relative is not getting the right care or treatment.
Report Finds Widespread Nursing Home Abuse in California
July 29, 2012
Investigations by the California attorney general found that nursing home abuse and neglect issues are quite prevalent throughout the state.
The report details serious issues in the quality of care at nursing homes. Nursing home residents were found to have bedsores and poor hygiene such as soiled diapers that were not taken care of for hours. Other issues found were patients being over-medicated, dehydrated, incorrectly diagnosed, as well as not having the required amount of nurses on staff.
The report was uncovered by the California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform via a California Public Records Act request. The advocacy group then distributed the report to the media.
The state Department of Public Health is looking at the issues and will decide what action to take against the nursing homes.
Operation Guardians is the name of the program which conducts investigations such as these to keep nursing homes abuse and neglect in check.
Nursing home abuse lawyers are also a crucial part of the fight against abuse and neglect in our nation’s nursing homes.
Plea Entered in California Nursing Home Abuse Case
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.
Plea Deal in California Nursing Home Abuse Case Delays Trial
March 21, 2013
Last week, a caregiver charged with serious counts of nursing home abuse had her trial delayed for a second time after her attorneys requested to weigh options regarding a plea deal. The upcoming trial is a result of an incident last year when a elderly woman died in the defendant’s care.
According to the Sacramento Bee, in 2012, an elderly patient residing at the Super Home Care nursing home passed away while under the care of owner, 52-year-old Sylvia Cata. As a result, Cata now faces a felony charge of involuntary manslaughter and a felony nursing home abuse charge of dependent or elder abuse resulting in death.
The victim, 88-year-old Georgia Holzmeister, was suffering from severe bed sores, yet Cata failed to treat her properly, resulting in a rushed hospital visit when Holzmeister lost consciousness. She never regained consciousness, and died five days later.
Cata has had previous run-ins with the California Department of Social Services (CDSS). Since 1996, when she opened her nursing home, Cata has received 40 citations after failing to follow several the state’s requirements for running a nursing home.
However, Super Home Care was never shut down or even suspended until Holzmeister’s death, which has left many angry and frustrated with CDSS. According to Foundation Aiding the Elderly’s president Carol Herman, there is no reason why Cata’s home shouldn’t have been closed down years ago.
“That shows an absolute failure of this department. She should have been shut down a long time ago,” Herman said.
Cata is scheduled to appear again court on March 28. She could face up to 12 years in prison. Meanwhile, the victim’s family has the legal right to retain a California nursing home abuse attorney and file civil charges against Cata as well.
New Nursing Home Abuse Law in California
January 22, 2013
With reports of elder and nursing home abuse increasing across the state of California, a new law has been put in place mandating new ways for individuals to report the crime.
According to Robert D’Amico of Shasta Adult Protective Services, not only do people have to report the abuse to California’s patient advocate obudman’s office, but they are now also required to report each incident to the police.
The new law was brought after an influx of nursing home abuse reports made public by the advocate group, ProPublica. The reports state that the elderly in California are being abused not only physically, but physically and mentally as well. In one local California city in particular, Shasta County, the rates of abuse are higher than average in the state.
Andy Tenney, the operator of Oak River Rehab in Anderson, is happy with the new law, and believes it will help stop a lot of the nursing abuse problems in the state:
“So I think it is a good thing; it does not affect us that much because we have been reporting to all the agencies as it was up front,” Tenney said.
Regardless if elder abuse happens in a nursing home or in the privacy of a residential home, anyone who witnesses or is told about the abuse must immediately call law enforcement officials. In addition, Adult Protective Services suggests consulting with a California nursing home abuse lawyer so that the loved ones of victims can also weigh out civil charges options.
More Victims in California Nursing Home Abuse Sexual Assault Case
January 11, 2013
A Riverside, California man has been charged with nursing home abuse after allegedly sexually assaulting a disabled resident at the nursing home where he formerly worked.
According to prosecutors on the case, 28-year-old Daniel Moreno, a former maintenance man at Emeritus Senior Living in Yorba Linda, went into the the room of a resident of the nursing home last summer and sexually abused her. The resident, whose name has not been released, is a 69-year-old dementia patient.
Moreno was arrested and charged with two sexual assault felonies. He was recently released on a $10,000 bond.
Meanwhile, investigators believe there are more victims. In a recent news announcement, City Service News stated that there is a possibility that more victims were abused by Moreno and public assistance is needed. California citizens are also concerned about the lack of background screening required for employees of California nursing homes. Since maintenance men have contact with nursing home residents, citizens feel that each potential employee should be screened with a criminal background check before being offered employment.
Although Moreno pled not guilty to his charges, he faces a pre-trial hearing on January 10. If he is convicted, he could face up to eight years in prison as well as the mandated lifetime sex offender registration. Additionally, the loved ones of the victim have the option of retaining legal representation from a California nursing home abuse attorney and file civil charges.