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Nursing home charged in burn victim's death


One of the more shocking cases of nursing home neglect in recent years occurred recently in Southern California, when a 58-year-old man with severe burn injuries died while in the care of a nursing facility in suburban Los Angeles. Now the California Attorney General has stepped in, bringing criminal charges including involuntary manslaughter against the Verdugo Valley Skilled Nursing & Wellness Centre, as well as felony abuse charges against two nurses who were supposed to be responsible for the victim's well-being.

The victim had been burned in 1991 when the apartment building he was occupying went up in flames. The man sustained serious burns on over 95 percent of his body, leaving him severely scarred and disfigured. With such substantial injuries, he was also highly susceptible to infections and disease, which in part necessitated his stay in the nursing facility. He entered the facility in 2013, and according to records and allegations by the Attorney General, his condition worsened without proper supervision and treatment in the facility.

This particular nursing facility was already notorious as one of California's worst. It received the lowest ranking possible under federal guidelines after officials found 42 health deficiencies. Only three other California nursing homes received worse rankings, out of over 1,200 total.

In addition the criminal case, the victim's brother has filed a wrongful death suit, seeking damages for the mistreatment of his brother. In such situations, it can be important to have proper legal representation so that any negligent parties involved may be held responsible for injuries and deaths. While nothing can bring back a loved one, seeking an experienced attorney can help those involved move toward resolution and recovery.

Source: Sacramento Bee "Death of a patient: State blames nursing home," Marjie Lundstrom, Sept. 19, 2015

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