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Office of the Attorney General News Release Archive

Monday, July 31, 2000


Attorney General gets $300,000 in North Texas nursing home case

AUSTIN - Texas Attorney General John Cornyn today announced a record $300,000 settlement in a nursing home civil penalty case. The settlement against Dublin Nursing Center in Dublin, Texas, near Stephenville, resulted from a Texas Department of Human Services (TDHS) investigation that revealed numerous violations of the Health and Safety Code.

"If you abuse and neglect the elderly, you will pay the price,"said Attorney General Cornyn. "I will continue to hold people accountable for their actions and will enforce high standards for those who are in the business of caring for others."

TDHS surveyors visited Dublin Nursing Center from May 16 through May 20, 1994 to conduct a standard licensing survey. The TDHS investigation revealed numerous violations, which led the facility owner, Linda Finch, to allow a Trustee to take over the operation of the facility.

TDHS found that there had not been a weekday registered nurse or Director of Nursing in the facility for a period of nearly four months and that the facility had insufficient nursing staff to provide basic nursing services to residents. One group of residents was found to have severe pressure sores, yet there was no record of them being assessed, or of their doctors ever being notified of the problem, so the residents could receive proper care. Some residents with pressure sores were observed laying on urine soaked, torn incontinent pads.

TDHS observations also noted that several residents were emaciated with severe malnutrition and doctors had never been notified of their conditions. One male resident was found to weigh as little as 82 pounds. Another resident was being fed food he could not eat because he had no teeth.

Problems were also found with the facility's overall condition. Flies were seen buzzing around residents and their food at mealtime, and linens were not properly sorted to prevent cross contamination between dirty and clean linens.

The Attorney General's office has been involved in this case with TDHS for over five years, after initially filing suit against Dublin Nursing Center in March of 1995.

This is the fourth major nursing home settlement Attorney General Cornyn has announced. Similar agreements were announced with the Arbors Living Centers in Beaumont, the Kenwood Nursing Home in Duncanville, and the Melrose Nursing Center in Tyler.

Since Attorney General Cornyn has been in office, over $2 million in civil penalties has been collected in nursing home cases.

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Contact Mark Heckmann, Heather Browne, or Tom Kelley at (512) 463-2050
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