Elder Abuse
These are the faces of our parents, our grandparents, our heroes. Nearly a quarter million of California's elderly are also victims of abuse. CAOC is fighting to protect their rights.


Senior citizens are among our most vulnerable population. Too often they are victims of financial fraud or negligent nursing home care that can lead to degrading conditions, injury or even death.
 
Regulatory agencies often lack the resources to adequately protect seniors’ safety. In many cases only the civil justice system can hold nursing home operators accountable for meeting state requirements. And when harm or death occurs, only the civil justice system can provide some measure of compensation for victims and their families.
 
The biggest problems faced by many nursing home residents are caused by the lack of staff on hand when facilities fail to meet state-mandated minimums. Call lights go unanswered; soiled diapers go unchanged; patients aren’t turned as needed in their beds, and develop pressure sores that turn deadly. Regulatory agencies can issue citations for inadequate staffing, but those penalties are a mere slap on the wrist for multi-million-dollar for-profit nursing home chains.
 
That’s when our civil justice system can help. When consumer attorneys in Humboldt County won a verdict holding one chain accountable for failing to provide minimum staffing on more than 500 days, they insisted the company boost staffing and pay for a court-appointed monitor to ensure compliance. The civil justice system accomplished what state regulators could not.
 
The devastating 2018 and 2019 wildfires in California showed us another example of how residential care facilities, in particular, lack necessary emergency preparedness response criteria, as some facilities abandoned their seniors during emergency evacuations. For example, in 2018 the Department of Social Services placed two large assisted living facilities in Santa Rosa on probation after investigations found that they abandoned large numbers of residents during a firestorm. At least 20 frail elderly residents would have died had family members and emergency responders not arrived to rescue them before one of the facilities burned to the ground. This is simply unacceptable.

When our parents and grandparents are victimized by unscrupulous financial dealings...when California seniors are abused and mistreated in nursing homes...when they don’t receive the level of care they are guaranteed by state law…when they are abandoned during emergencies... consumer attorneys stand up in defense for our elders. 



 

Additional Information:
California Department of Justice Statistics on Elder Abuse