Nursing facility asks for dismissal of hefty fine

2013-03-05T18:04:00Z 2013-03-05T21:19:13Z Nursing facility asks for dismissal of hefty fineKERANA TODOROV Napa Valley Register
March 05, 2013 6:04 pm  • 

The business that operated a nursing home in north Napa has filed a complaint to have a $20,000 state-issued citation dismissed, according to the court records.

Napa Nursing Center, a skilled nursing home facility that operated at 3275 Villa Lane, was cited on Feb. 8 after a resident fell four times between July 2009 and August 2010, according to state regulators. The 90-year-old patient, who suffered from Alzheimer’s disease and other ailments, survived the four falls but had to be treated at the hospital for a cervical fracture and head cut, according to state documents.

The nursing home was sold in June 2011 and is now known as Napa Valley Care Center, according to Jeff Barbieri, the facility’s new manager. Barbieri referred further comments to Napa Valley Nursing Center’s lawyers at Beach Whitman and Cowdrey. A representative for Beach Whitman and Cowdrey LLP could not be reached for comment.

The seriousness of the type “A” citation indicated the falls posed “imminent danger that death or serious harm” would result to the patients.

But in court documents filed Feb. 13, J. Thomas Aldrich, an attorney with Beach Whitman and Cowdrey in Sacramento, said the violations “as alleged” did not occur and asked for the “Class ‘A’” violation to be dismissed, along with the $20,000 penalty, according to court records.

“Furthermore, the alleged violations, if any, certainly does not meet the criteria for a Class ‘A’ citation in that the incident in question did not result in the immediate danger or cause serious harm to patients or residents of a long-term healthcare facility or result in the direct or proximate death of a patient or resident. Even assuming, without conceding, that a violation occurred, plaintiff performed what might reasonably be expected of a long-term healthcare facility licensee, acting under similar circumstances, to comply with regulations,” the attorney wrote.

A hearing is scheduled for July 3 in Napa County Superior Court.

According to state regulators, in one incident in 2010, the patient suffered a 3-centimeter forehead cut that exposed the bone, according to the California Department of Public Health.

The resident also fell in July 2009 after no effective measures were considered regarding supervision to prevent the woman from getting out of her wheelchair, state regulators said. The resident fell after her feet got tangled in her wheelchair’s foot rests, the document stated.

“There were no effective measures considered regarding adequate supervision to prevent (the resident) from attempting to get out of the chair unassisted,” the state regulators wrote.

State enforcement actions are relatively rare. According to the Department of Public Health, no actions were issued in 2012 at any of the six skilled nursing facilities licensed in Napa County.

According to county records, Napa Nursing Center Inc. was owned by Auburn Manor Holding Corp. of Rocklin.

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