Community Care Licensing (CCL) has issued its first fines under newly revised Health and Safety Code Section 1569.49, which permits enhanced civil penalties for regulatory violations that lead to the death of a resident. Prior to the passage of AB 2236 (Maienschein and Stone) in 2014, the maximum fine an assisted living facility faced was a paltry $150 – even if the resident was physically injured or killed. The new law went into effect on July 1, 2015 and now the first enhanced fines have finally been issued. Kudos to Assemblymembers Maienschein and Stone and all the wonderful organizations and individuals who supported AB 2236 and helped it become law.
The facility evaluation reports that accompany the fines reveal horrible cases of poor care that vindicate the need for AB 2236. The Brookdale Vacaville citation is about a resident who choked and died on a hot dog, despite an order for mechanically chopped, soft foods. The Golden Coast Senior Living #7 citation describes a resident who was riddled with wounds and enormous bedsores but received inadequate attention and died.