Lockyer Announces Civil Suit Against Nursing Home Owner
Attorney General Bill Lockyer (D) yesterday announced that the state has filed a civil complaint against the owner and operator of four nursing homes, alleging "serious patient neglect," the Los Angeles Times reports. The homes named in the complaint are: Crescent Nursing and Rehabilitation of Indio in Riverside County, Crescent Care Center of Yucca Valley and Crescent Alzheimer's Care Center, both in San Bernardino County; and Lodi Health Care Center in San Joaquin County. All four homes are owned by Rocky Lemon of Pacific Palisades and operated by TLC Health Care Inc. The complaint, filed earlier this week, alleges "dozens of violations of state and federal regulations involving 100 patients" who suffered from various problems, including dehydration, malnutrition, injuries from falls and "palm-size bedsores deep enough to expose bones." The state is seeking $2 million in civil penalties and restitution of a minimum of $50,000 to Medi-Cal for "failure to provide adequate care, treatment and services." The suit also is seeking a court order requiring Lemon and TLC Health Care to improve patient care. The case marks the first time the state has brought a civil action against the owner of a nursing home. Lockyer said, "We're sending out a message that there is going to be more aggressive enforcement and increased efforts to look for horrible cases. Previous administrations directed actions against home staffers. This time we're hitting the top of the totem pole" (Sahagun, Los Angeles Times, 4/6).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.