woman in wheelchair

A California assisted living and memory care provider has changed its resident assessment practices to be more “invasive” following a $2.5 million jury award a company representative called “outrageous.”

Moreno Valley, CA-based Integrated Care Communities was accused in a lawsuit of “extreme abuse and neglect and total lack of care” leading to “serious and painful” injuries for not following state regulations in reassessing the resident’s condition after a year of residency. 

Phil Saucedo, board president for California Drug Consultants, doing business as Integrated Care Communities, told McKnight’s Senior Living that an abscess deep in the resident’s rectal cavity was “flat out missed” because that type of invasive check is beyond the scope and purview of a residential care facility’s license. 

Nonetheless, Saucedo said the provider has changed its practices, adding additional addendums to its contracts and notifying prospective and new clients that it is within the company’s purview to conduct what might be considered “invasive” checks. 

The Peck Law Group, which argued the case, said the resident was “fairly healthy” and able to care for herself independently when she moved into the community. After a year, however, her condition rapidly declined and she required “substantial assistance” with her activities of daily living, the attorneys said. The lawsuit alleged that community staff should have conducted a complete reassessment when the woman was “suddenly unable to walk due to pain, and required wheelchair assistance.”

The lawsuit accused the assisted living community of “reckless neglect” after the resident received a diagnosis of a stage four pressure injury to her coccyx and sepsis with acute organ dysfunction.