Office of the Attorney General News Release Archive

Wednesday, June 30, 1999


Action taken against Amarillo nursing home operators

AUSTIN - Texas Attorney General John Cornyn today announced the filing of a lawsuit against Amarillo Health Properties, Inc., and Comprehensive Health Care Associates, Inc. The lawsuit was filed in Potter County District Court.

The suit was filed at the request of the Texas Department of Human Services, because of licensing violations found by TDHS during a complaint investigation. Those violations endangered the health and safety of residents at Olsen Manor Nursing Home. The TDHS investigation revealed that the facility had failed to care for 10 patients with incontinent or urine control related problems.

"I have made it a priority in my administration to protect those who can't protect themselves," Cornyn said. " The abuse and neglect of the elderly can not and will not be tolerated. I intend to hold people accountable for their actions," Cornyn added.

TDHS investigations of Olsen Manor revealed that several residents had been left to lie in their own urine for up to 4 hours. In one instance, 6 residents were found lying in urine from the mid-thigh area to their lower backs. Most residents had received severe bedsores as a result of laying in urine. In one instance a resident had a bedsore so severe that muscle tissue was exposed around the resident's tailbone. In another instance, a resident was found with a bedsore, measuring 13cm in diameter that covered the resident's entire buttocks. Subcutaneous tissue was exposed on that particular bedsore.

In the lawsuit against Amarillo Health Properties, Inc., and Comprehensive Health Care Associates, Inc., Cornyn asks the court to assess civil penalties against the defendants up to the maximum of $20,000 per day of violation.

Since Attorney General Cornyn took office 12 lawsuits have been filed against 24 separate nursing homes. 16 nursing home cases have been settled.

This case is being handled by Assistant Attorney General Nancy Shellhorse in the Elder Law and Public Health Division of the Office of the Attorney General.