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Saturday, October 25, 1997
AG files lawsuits against five nursing homes,
personal care home
AUSTIN (AP) -- Five nursing homes and an unlicensed personal
care home have been sued by the state, which accuses the facilities
of inadequately caring for their residents, Attorney General Dan
Morales announced Friday.
The lawsuits came after investigations by the Texas Department
of Human Services found violations of a state law that requires
homes to provide adequate care for their residents.
The homes are located in Beaumont, Dallas, El Paso, Houston,
Fort Worth and the San Antonio suburb of Somerset.
Morales is asking the courts to penalize the homes $10,000
per violation and order the unlicensed personal care home to cease
operating without a license.
State health officials found residents at the Summit Care Corp.,
which operates as The Clairmount Beaumont, failed to promote oral
hygiene, prevent pressure sores, maintain patient mobility and
follow physicians' orders in late June, according to the lawsuit
filed in a Beaumont state district court.
In another lawsuit, against Lake Park Nursing and Retirement
Center Inc., operating as Lake Park Nursing and Retirement Center,
Morales alleges residents were not sufficiently supervised during
a period in January.
The lawsuit, filed in Dallas County, said that one resident
was injured because of improper supervision while showering, and
another was hurt when he wandered off, climbed the roof and tried
to climb down a drain pipe.
A lawsuit filed in El Paso alleges the Vista Hills Health Care
Center and 22 Texas partners failed to give a resident proper
nutrition, causing the woman to lose 18.6 percent of her weight
during the first five months of the year.
A lawsuit filed in Houston alleges that Lifecare Corp., operating
as Benner Convalescent Center, failed to effectively ensure residents
were provided with sufficient fluids.
One resident was found severely dehydrated and was admitted
to the hospital for treatment Aug. 12, the health department investigation
showed. A head nurse at the hospital said told surveyors the resident
was so dehydrated that her blood was thick, sluggish and not flowing
A lawsuit filed in Fort Worth against Texas Home Management,
formerly operating as Fifth Avenue Group Home, alleges no system
was set up to monitor two patients' lithium intake, seriously
threatening their health. The situation, discovered May 27, could
have led to lithium toxicity, the lawsuit said.
The lawsuit also alleges the facility's system of monitoring
residents while taking psychoactive drugs failed and that staff
members were not properly trained to be aware of these signs and
A final lawsuit was filed against Country Cottage Boarding
Home in Austin, alleging that it operated without a license. The
health department visited the facility once in June 1996 and again
in January and June of 1997, finding it unlicensed and caring
for at least eight residents.
Administrators at the Clairmount Beaumont, Lake Park Nursing
and Retirement Center, Vista Hills Health Care Center, Benner
Convalescent Center and Country Cottage Boarding Home were unavailable
Wendy Weatherson, an administrator from Texas Home Management
Inc., said the agency was unaware of the lawsuit. However, she
said the deficiencies found by the health department were cleared
up within five days.
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