San Mateo police say one person died and two others were hospitalized due to an apparent accidental poisoning at a retirement home for the elderly.
The three residents, including the deceased woman, were served a caustic liquid instead of grape juice, according to Atria Park of San Mateo.
On Saturday, August 27th, Peninsula Hospital in Burlingame was contacted by the facility, and the residents were taken there by San Mateo fire personnel.
June Lee, who planned to send her husband to an assisted living home, stated, “That should not happen, that is a terrible error.”
The 93-year-old victim was a longtime resident of San Mateo and a mother of nine children; her family is demanding answers.
Three residents at Atria Park San Mateo were recently sent to the hospital after being handed dishwashing liquid instead of juice, according to a statement released by the facility. While engaging with local authorities, we learned that one person had passed away. Our hearts go out to the family at this time. Our staff promptly notified the proper authorities and the residents were taken to the hospital for further evaluation and treatment.
Our own internal investigation is under underway, and the affected workers have been placed on administrative leave until the outcome. After conducting a thorough investigation with the police and the Department of Social Services, we will take any further measures that are necessary. Every day, we work hard to ensure the security and happiness of our community’s residents. No more remark may be made at this time out of consideration for the parties involved.
Elder abuse attorney Kathryn Stebner claims to have filed four lawsuits against Atria in the previous four years. Atria operates multiple assisted living facilities in the state of California. The San Mateo center has been the target of two of these attacks.
Stebner explained that these incidents stemmed from a lack of trained personnel and insufficient staffing at the institutions.
Stebner claims that at least one resident’s death was the result of substandard care, and that the events of this past weekend are quite exceptional.
Stebner expressed doubt, saying, “If it’s poison, it didn’t come in a juice container.”
Someone who works with clients at the facility said she wasn’t surprised to hear what had happened there because she believes there is a chronic lack of staff.
The unnamed woman explained, “They would leave the plates in the room, and sometimes they are stacked and nobody picks it up, and I had to clean it myself.”
The police report that they are collaborating with the Ombudsman for the California Department of Social Services to determine what transpired.