Archive for the ‘lawsuit’ Category

Lawsuit Cites a DSS Report Criticizing Providence Place of DePaul ALF

November 10, 2013

The state ordered an assisted living center near DePaul Medical Center to make changes last year after an investigation found the facility failed to protect patients from an aggressive resident.

A Virginia Department of Social Services report from November 2012 was filed with a lawsuit alleging that Province Place of DePaul did not protect a woman who was attacked. The lawsuit also alleges officials tried to cover up the incident.

The alleged attack occurred June 9, 2012. Emily Steele, 81, a patient with dementia, lived in the special care unit near a man known to be aggressive toward residents he believed had entered his room, according to the suit.

Staff knew that Steele often walked by the man’s room, which “presented a real and foreseeable scenario for harm to occur,” according to the lawsuit filed in September by Steele’s daughter, Nancy Stillman.

The lawsuit says staff alerted Stillman to her mother’s injury. She arrived 20 minutes later and found Emily Steele sitting, alone, her face swollen and bleeding, in an activity room. Stillman and her sister took their mother to the emergency room where she was treated for scratches and bruises.

According to the DSS report, Province Place of DePaul made a “self report” on July 30, 2012, and sent DSS an anonymous letter alleging problems at the facility. The lawsuit says the letter was discovered near a copy machine in the assisted living center and appears to have been written by a staffer.

The lawsuit also alleges that according to nurses’ notes, the family was never notified of a December 2011 incident in which the man hit Steele on the head.

A DSS inspector concluded staff “did not protect the residents from known aggressive behavior” of the man.

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Lawsuit cites report criticizing assisted living center

California sued over lagging nursing home inspections

November 10, 2013

A Sacramento advocate for the elderly is suing the state for allegedly endangering vulnerable residents by failing to promptly investigate nursing home complaints, according to a lawsuit filed Tuesday in San Francisco.

The suit, brought by the Sacramento-based Foundation Aiding the Elderly, accuses state regulators of “taking months and sometimes years” to complete investigations of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities. Filed in San Francisco Superior Court, the lawsuit names the California Department of Public Health and two top administrators.

“This is jeopardizing all patients,” said Carole Herman, president of FATE. “The industry is not afraid of the regulators, they are so lax in their responsibilities.”

Corey Egel, spokesman for the Department of Public Health, said the department could not comment on pending litigation. The lawsuit, filed by the Lexington Law Group, a San Francisco public interest law firm, seeks a court order requiring the state to “complete complaint investigations and the complaint appeal process in a timely manner.” The lawsuit asks the court to impose deadlines or enforce existing ones on the complaint process. And, it asks that the court compel the department to prepare an annual report detailing the timeliness of its complaint investigations.

Herman said she pursued legal action because “it’s the only way the state is going to pay attention.”

The lawsuit cites Herman’s personal experiences with the department in filing complaints on behalf of nursing-home clients. One case filed by Herman in October 2011, which involves “serious allegations of negligent medical treatment,” remains unresolved, the lawsuit states. Two other investigations involving “serious allegations of sexual and/or physical abuse against an elder” have been pending since February 2012, according to the suit.

According to the lawsuit, the delays endanger residents and make it less likely a facility’s underlying problems will be addressed. The issues raised often need to be resolved quickly, before more harm can occur, witnesses’ memories fade – or witnesses die, the suit states.

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California sued over lagging nursing home inspections