A recent Los Angeles nursing home accident has caused officials to investigate a Pico Rivera nursing home. The nursing home was fined $100,000 after a wheelchair-bound resident caught on fire and died while trying to light a cigarette in an unsupervised dining room, according to a CBS News report. The California Department of Public Health issued the AA citation and the fine on April 22, 2009 to the Riviera Healthcare Center. The fatal nursing home accident apparently occurred on December 23, 2008 when the resident tried to light a cigarette without anyone present in the dining room.
The victim was burned over 40 percent of his body and died 18 days later. California health officials stated in their report that the nursing home neglected patient safety by failing to come up with a safety plan. Also, nursing home staff did not use a nearby fire blanket and extinguisher to put out the flames.
Nursing home negligence and abuse in California is increasingly becoming a major issue. What happened in this Los Angeles County nursing home is a clear case of negligence. Nursing homes have the responsibility to care for their residents in a manner that will promote and enhance their quality of life. They are required to come up with a medical, nursing and safety plan to address the needs of the resident and these plans must be periodically reviewed and updated. Finally, nursing homes must conduct a comprehensive assessment that describes the resident’s capability to perform daily functions and their significant impairments. Had this Pico Rivera nursing home’s staff done their job as they were supposed to, this man would not have died.
I sincerely hope this deceased victim’s family members contact experienced California nursing home negligence lawyers, who will go after this nursing home and obtain fair compensation for their loss. You cannot put a price on the loss of a beloved family member. However, these lawsuits are the only civil remedy available to families of victims of such California nursing home negligence. In this case, the victim’s family would be able to file a wrongful death claim against the nursing home and seek compensation for medical/funeral expenses, pain and suffering among other damages.