On October 3, 2013, the California Department of Public Health issued a citation and $20,000 fine against the Palos Verdes Health Care Center in Lomita, California for failing to protect a resident from sexual abuse.
The sexual assault took place four years earlier on October 30, 2009. A male nurse entered the room of a 55 year-old resident early in the morning and put his hand down her stomach, grabbing her “crotch.” The resident screamed and a CNA entered the room. The CNA reported the resident was crying and furious and that the nurse “looked guilty and his body language said it more.”
The resident reported the nurse had twice before abused her during care by kissing her and fondling her breast.
However, the facility did not initially suspend the nurse and he remained on duty for weeks after the abuse. The resident felt unsafe and she was hospitalized for psychiatric care about a month after the abuse, stating at the time: “I reported the assault to the facility, but nothing was done and I’m angry he still works there.”
The facility received a separate citation and $2,000 fine on October 3, 2009 for failing to report the abuse to the Department of Public Health and ombudsman in a timely manner and for failing to immediately remove the nurse during the investigation to keep the resident safe. Yet the Department of Public Health itself took nearly four years after investigating the abuse in November 2009 before issuing the citations and fines.