California Rocked by Numerous Nursing Home Controversies
Families around the Golden State trust nursing homes to take care of their elderly loved ones. Unfortunately, that trust is all too often misplaced. Nursing homes across the state have been exposed for committing serious abuses, and some residents have even lost their lives as a result of this gross misconduct. If your loved one has experienced any kind of abuse during their stay at a nursing home, you are fully within your rights to explore your legal options.
Nursing homes can and should be sued for these abuses, as it sends a clear message that these actions are unacceptable. It is only when we stand up and take action that we facilitate real change in our community. A recent string of controversies surrounding nursing homes has rocked California, proving that this issue continues to affect the lives of seniors and families around the state.
Attorney General Secures Injunction Against Nursing Facilities
You know it is serious when the California Attorney General takes action against nursing homes. On January 10, 2023, it was reported that Rob Bonta had secured injunctions against 19 skilled nursing facilities across the state. The government is alleging that these facilities violated both federal and state laws over a five-year period. Their violations include understaffing, negligence, and inflating the ratings of their services. In a statement, Bonta revealed:
“Mariner and its skilled nursing facilities violated both the law and the trust of our communities by failing to protect the safety and well-being of its residents. Mariner understaffed its facilities and left residents vulnerable to assault, illness, and harm. Today’s preliminary injunction will put a stop to this unacceptable behavior, and put in place an independent monitor who will ensure patient safety. When it comes to California’s skilled nursing facilities, the well-being of patients will always be an uncompromisable priority. The California Department of Justice will step in whenever the well-being of patients is at stake.”
Specific examples of negligence and abuse were provided, and the details are shocking. It is reported that facilities were sometimes criminally understaffed. Some residents were unsafely discharged from the facilities, while other residents had to have their limbs amputated due to inadequate care. In other cases, diseases, lice, and a variety of pests spread throughout the facilities and infected residents. A high number of sexual assault cases were also reported. It is clear that these facilities should experience severe consequences for these actions.
The Sad Story of Laguna Honda Hospital
Last year, Laguna Honda Hospital was decertified by the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid. This left it ineligible for medical funding provided by the government-provided health care options, and closure became inevitable. Some 600 people remain in the hospital, many of whom have dementia, mental illness, and strokes. There were 12 people who transferred out of the facility and have already died, and some others have refused to be relocated. Recently, the hospital faced further legal issues and was fined $36,000 for failing to provide adequate care to those who died after their transfers. Many of these victims were elderly individuals with dementia. The controversy facing Laguna Honda was triggered after two nonfatal drug overdoses at the facility. These incidents sparked a number of safety inspections that uncovered a wide range of issues.
Worker Faces Criminal Charges for Poisoning Nursing Home Resident
On January 27, 2023, it was reported that a worker at a nursing home in Walnut Creek was charged with felony elder abuse for poisoning a 94-year-old resident. The victim did not survive the poisoning, which involved the consumption of an all-purpose cleaning solution. Prosecutors say that the liquid is stronger than Drano with a strong smell. This death came immediately after another nursing home resident in the Bay Area was fatally poisoned with dishwashing detergent.
Nursing Home in Concord Ordered to Pay $2.3 Million
Back in November of 2022, a Concord nursing home was ordered to pay $2.3 million to settle allegations of “grossly substandard care.” Among other things, the company was accused of overmedicating residents with psychotropic drugs. It was also accused of allowing resident-on-resident violence, excessive falls, and a wide range of mental and physical harm.
How Do We Fix This Problem?
It is clear that California’s nursing homes have serious problems. So how do we address these issues? Some issues point to the state’s nursing home licensing system as the clear culprit, claiming that these facilities must be regulated more strictly. But efforts to improve this process have also been shrouded in controversy. In June 2022, the same people who sponsored a bill to revamp the licensing process decried it as a “step backward.”
They claimed that after numerous amendments, the bill had nothing in common with what they initially suggested and that it now “codifies and endorses” a system that “has nourished the worst operators in the state.” On the other side of the aisle, supporters of the amended bill insist that it still provides transparency and accountability, calling it a “step forward.”
Where Can I Find a Nursing Home Abuse Attorney in California?
If you have been searching for a qualified, experienced nursing home attorney in California, look no further than Mary Alexander & Associates. With our assistance, you can hold negligent nursing homes accountable for the pain and suffering they have caused your family. We can also help if you have lost a loved one due to the fatal negligence of a nursing home. While a settlement can never bring your senior back, it may provide a sense of closure, allowing you to move on as best you can. It also helps ensure that negligent nursing homes are brought to justice, preventing more seniors from being hurt in the future.
If you are ready to move forward with your lawsuit, book a consultation with us at your earliest convenience. During your consultation, we can assess your unique situation and determine the best possible course of action. Reach out today because the statute of limitations may prevent you from suing if you wait too long.