Rat dies in mouth of California nursing home patient
Staffing was so inadequate at a California senior center that a rat crawled into an Alzheimer’s patient’s mouth and died there before staff noticed, a lawsuit claims.
The lawsuit alleges that Paragon Gardens Assisted Living and Memory Care Community in Mission Viejo overbooked their facility to receive corporate bonuses, but cut back on staff to increase profits.
“The facility so literally ignored the needs of their residents … as to allow vermin in the form of a rat to become lodged in the mouth of Sigmund Bock and die therein,” the lawsuit alleges.
Chatelle said that Bock was found holding a glue trap that had been placed in his room by a pest control company to catch a single field mouse. She said the dead field mouse was inside the trap when Bock picked it up.
Bock’s attorney, Stephen Garcia, challenged that account. He said two traps were placed in Bock’s room and both were laced with poison, not glue.
He said Paragon records show a staff person noticed Bock “playing with a rat in his room and eating candy … with the rat” on the morning of March 18. Paramedics called to the scene noted “possible ingestion of rat poison” in their report and an emergency room file says that Bock was “found in room in care facility with dead rat in mouth.”
Last year, the state moved to revoke Paragon Gardens’ license after a 71-year-old dementia patient wandered from the facility and was never found. The state Department of Social Services also claimed six clients were injured from improper care, according to spokesman Michael Weston. The company has appealed.