When choosing a nursing home, families want to ensure their loved ones receive the best possible care. However, nursing home abuse and neglect can jeopardize residents’ safety. When a nursing home fails to protect its residents, it leaves them vulnerable to serious injury or death.
A nursing home in California is facing a wrongful death lawsuit after a mentally ill resident allegedly strangled his 90-year-old roommate to death. A caregiver at Avocado Post Acute nursing home found the victim in his room with abrasions on his neck. He was also vomiting blood and presenting with respiratory distress. He was then transferred to the hospital, where he later died from his injuries. The victim’s family adult children claim that Avocado never informed them of the attack and omitted details about their father’s visible injuries. Instead, according to the lawsuit, Avocado staff allegedly told the hospital he was suffering from lung cancer and in respiratory arrest. Only after the victim was moved to hospice did his family learn the full extent of what had transpired. The lawsuit also claims Avocado knew the alleged murderer had previously attacked patients at the nursing home, including a prior altercation between him and the victim. Moreover, the family alleges that the nursing home failed to discharge this resident, despite his violent tendencies, in the face of financial pressure to turn a profit.
Sadly, this incident is one of many injuries reported at Avocado. As a recent news article reported, the California Department of Public Health has received 628 complaints against the nursing home since 2019. These complaints allege caregivers at the nursing home sexually assaulted a quadriplegic resident, left a resident with swallowing precautions alone to eat lunch before she choked to death, and slammed a resident into a wall, among other incidents. In light of these allegations, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) had previously announced it would terminate Avocado’s contract with the Department of Health and Human Services. However, CMS later reversed its decision, finding that the nursing home had since reached sufficient compliance with its standards. As of now, the nursing home remains open.