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Nursing home neglect allegedly ignored by owners

Entrusting the care of a loved one to a nursing home or other residential care facility is rarely easy, and family members typically expect that staff will treat their loved one with respect while providing the best care possible. When residents are neglected or abused, people in California usually expect the owner of the facility to be open and honest about these acts of nursing home neglect. Sadly, when it comes to abuse, there often appears to be a culture of cover-ups.

Top officials at an out-of-state nursing home were accused of purposely hiding instances of abuse at its facility. Between the years of 2011 and 2014, the local Department of Health cited the home for a number of alleged deficiencies. Perhaps one of the most shocking included a citation for violating the residents' rights to not be abused. In total, the nursing home racked up 37 deficiencies during those years.

However, the allegations of a cover-up specifically arose from an incident in May 2013. In one instance, a resident suffering from dementia was permitted to be in an unsupervised room with another one of the facility's residents. An act of unlawful sexual behavior transpired. During that same period of time, one resident was a victim of a serious, undisclosed medical error. However, staff failed to realize what had occurred until days later.

While all four officials are facing criminal charges, the victims and their families also have a right to pursue justice in a civil court. Wrongful death or personal injury claims for nursing home neglect are common avenues utilized by victims in California. These claims may either be filed by the victim or on behalf of his or her estate and, when successfully navigated to either a settlement or a jury award, can provide legal recourse for all related damages.

Source: uticaod.com, "Local nursing home officials accused of covering up abuse", Micaela Parker, May 7, 2015

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