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Poisoning at Axia Assisted Living Results in 1 Resident Death and 2 Hospitalizations

Neglect at a California assisted living facility has resulted in a resident death and two hospitalizations after residents drank toxic dishwashing liquid at Atria Park of San Mateo. According to an assisted living neglect lawyer familiar with the incident, the residents were given the dishwashing liquid instead of juice. As result, a 93-year old dementia resident has now died, and the staff members involved have been suspended from the facility as investigators look into the incident.

Gertrude Elizabeth Murison Maxwell, 93, has been identified as the resident who died from this incident. Her daughter, Marcia Cutchin, stated that Ms. Maxwell’s injuries leading to her death included severe mouth and throat blisters from drinking the hazardous chemicals. Ms. Cutchin claims that an Axia representative contacted her and relayed that her mother had consumed an alkaline cleaning product. Per Ms. Cutchin, her mother was completely dependent on facility staff members to drink liquids, requiring them to both hold the cup for her and tip it to drink. The San Mateo Police Department and California Department of Social Services Ombudsman are investigating the case.

Are Senior Communities Required to Maintain Resident Safety from Poisons?

Yes, nursing homes and assisted living facilities are governed by rules and regulations to protect resident safety. Sadly, when a senior living community fails to abide by to these rules, resident injury frequently occurs. Each state has their own rules for resident safety; however, most states have rules that residents must be protected from hazardous or poisonous materials. There is often a high standard for residents with dementia, who are often unable to identify a poisonous substance or understand use it safely. Therefore, senior living communities must ensure that hazardous substances are properly secured. According to an assisted living neglect lawyer, Atria’s failure to keep poisonous fluids away a dementia resident may result in an assisted living neglect lawsuit.


What Is Considered Neglect at an Assisted Living Facility?

Neglect is generally defined as a failure to meet an elderly resident’s basic needs. Nursing home and assisted living residents are frequently considered to be some of the most vulnerable members of society. They largely depend on the facility employees for needs such as food and drink, supervision, medical care, ADL needs, and dental hygiene. Neglect basically means that a senior living provider, such as an assisted living facility, has failed to fulfill their obligations or duties to the resident.

To further define these concepts, the US government has written detailed regulations defining abuse and neglect. The Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1987 (OBRA) asserts that nursing home residents have the right to be free from verbal, physical, and mental abuse, involuntary seclusion, and corporal punishment. The Health Care Finance Administration (HCFA) issued guidelines that defined neglect as a failure to provide goods or services necessary to avoid physical harm, mental anguish, or mental illness. Considering this definition of neglect, a nursing home that does not properly secure poisonous substances may be liable for neglect if a resident is harmed by those substances.

Does California Regulate Poisons for Residential Care Facilities for the Chronically Ill?

California regulations demand that disinfectants, cleaning solutions, and poisons that can pose a danger for residents be stored where they are inaccessible. An assisted living neglect lawyer suggests that investigators will seek to determine if this regulation was met in the Atria dishwasher liquid poisoning incident.

Can I Sue for Assisted Living Neglect?

Nursing homes must follow regulations and provide services to maintain resident safety. When a nursing home fails to provide these services for resident safety, the facility may be liable for neglect. If your loved one suffered significant injuries or died from neglect that occurred at nursing home or assisted living, you may have a valid claim. Other examples of assisted living neglect may include:

  • Preventable falls with injury
  • Wandering or elopements resulting in serious injury or death
  • Preventable bed sores or pressure ulcers
  • Dehydration
  • Medication administration errors or omissions
  • Malnutrition
  • Physical, sexual, or financial abuse

Contact Experienced Assisted Living Neglect Lawyers for a Free Consultation

The assisted living neglect attorneys at our firm have litigated many cases in which care failures at senior care facilities resulted catastrophic injuries. Our attorneys aggressively represent nursing home residents and their families to seek compensation for their injuries or wrongful death.

Call today for a free consultation and speak directly with an attorney. Our consultations are always free, so that you can fully understand your legal options and make the best decisions for you and your family. Additionally, if you decide to pursue a claim, our lawyers offer a contingency fee agreement so that we only earn a fee if we win money for your case. This provides our clients both confidence in our services as well as peace of mind knowing that there are never unexpected legal fees. Call 215-666-7777 today or send us a message via the online for on this website to speak directly with an attorney.

Can I Sue for Assisted Living Neglect?


Contact the Nursing Home Neglect Lawyers at Our Firm

The nursing home neglect lawyers at our firm understand the plight of the nation’s nursing home residents. No one should be subject to neglect and substandard care in long term care facilities. Our attorneys will partner with you to take a stand against underperforming nursing homes and seek compensation for their injuries. Call us today or send us a message to speak directly with an nursing home neglect lawyer.

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