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Mushroom poisoning ravages nursing home

The rainy California fall creates the perfect conditions for wild mushroom growth, and many Californians, professional and amateur alike, take to harvesting mushrooms for their delicious flavor. Unfortunately, though, mushroom collectors can make deadly mistakes in the process.

That's exactly what happened earlier this month at an assisted living facility near Sacramento. In a startling case of nursing home neglect, two senior citizens died and an additional four people were hospitalized after ingesting some toxic homemade mushroom soup prepared by a caregiver at the facility.

The Gold Age Villa was a relatively quaint facility, with only up to six residents at any given time. They specialized in homemade meals, and families of residents spoke well of the care and treatment provided at the home.

Unfortunately, the negligent conduct of a nursing home staff member claimed the lives of two residents, an 86-year-old woman and a 73-year-old woman. The caretaker also ingested some of the toxic soup, and is one of the four currently hospitalized.

In an incident like this one, both the nursing home facility and the caregivers it employs could face civil liability. Families of victims killed while under the care of nursing home staff can bring a suit for damages, including wrongful death. Victims who survive nursing home neglect may also be able to collect damages for pain and suffering.

In all likelihood, the case at issue was simply a tragic accident. But nursing home staff responsible for the care of the elderly and infirm must be held to high standards in order to prevent tragedies and ensure that loved ones get the proper care and attention they deserve.

Source: Fox 8, "Poisonous mushrooms kill nursing home residents," Nov. 12, 2012

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