Earlier this month, the family of a 57-year-old woman who died after lighting herself aflame filed suit against the nursing facility that was charged with her care. According to one local news article, the lawsuit is against the single largest owner of skilled nursing facilities in the State of California. The owner of the facility controls one in every 14 nursing home beds in California.
Evidently, the woman suffered from a history of schizophrenia and suicidal ideations, and she was admitted to the nursing home for constant care. The lawsuit alleges that the nursing facility accepted her into its care, knowing that it did not have the trained staff necessary to provide the high level of care that the woman needed. Specifically, the woman’s family claims that the home was “maximizing profits from the operation of the facility by underfunding, understaffing and under training the staff” with “callous indifference to the potential for injury they were inflicting upon the resident population.”
The family argues that the home provided the woman a “day pass” that allowed her to be on her own for about four hours a day without supervision of any kind. This was despite the fact that, just two weeks earlier, staff members reported the woman was suffering from hallucinations and talking to herself.