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| The Cochran Firm - Dallas

Most of us do not like the thought of placing a loved one in a nursing home. While it is true that many people work to provide the absolute best care possible for patients in these homes, it only takes a few incidents to give these places another look.

Recently, a nursing home in San Diego was cited and fined $80,000 by California officials for not supervising a 74 year old woman who caught fire last year while she was smoking at the facility. She died from her injuries. According to the California Department of Public Health, the "AA" citation against the Lemon Grove Care and Rehabilitation Center is the top penalty possible under the state law.

A spokesperson for the nursing home said that they will fight this last citation and penalty. In 2008, the home that has nearly 160 beds, received a pair of minor citations and one three years before.

A document describing the woman’s death cites allegations that no staff members were monitoring the woman and two other residents one day last March while they were smoking in the nursing home designated smoking area. The woman’s jacket caught on fire and she died less than two weeks later of injuries she sustained at a local hospital.

After the woman’s death, Lemon Grove Care and Rehabilitation Center reworked its policy to require a staff member to be present while their residents smoke. However, it is our opinion that one death from nursing home neglect is far too many.

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