Prior to accidental poisoning, San Mateo’s Atria Park had 12 complaints

2 mins read

Records from the California Department of Social Services reveal Atria Park in San Mateo has been investigated at least nine times since 2017. 

Before the death of Trudy Maxwell, 93, after she was accidentally given a “dish-washing liquid instead of drinking juice,” the state had already received 12 complaints about the assisted facility. 

Some complaints are: 

“A resident who sustained multiple unexplained injuries while under the care of facility staff”

“Staff failing to give medications as prescribed”

“Staff not meeting residents medical needs and not transporting residents to medical appointments”

One allegation is also accusing Atria of:

“Illegally evicting a resident”

Attorney Kathryn Stebner has filed multiple lawsuits against Atria senior living in the past 15 years. All of the cases were settled outside of court. Two of them involved negligence, and two other seniors were given a toxic chemical. 

“It’s gross negligence what happened here and it’s elder abuse. They were reckless,” said Stebner. 

Stebner is not involved in the Maxwell case but says facilities like Atria are usually short-staffed. 

“In a nursing home they are supposed to have 3.5 nursing hours per patient a day. In assisted living like Atria there are no numbers that people have to set. It’s just meet the needs of the residents. So it leaves more room for error because there are no standards,” said Stebner.

A complaint investigation report from March of 2021 listed allegations of:

“This facility lacking sufficient staff to meet resident needs, facility staff not qualified, facility member did not properly assess resident after falling and didn’t treat resident with dignity and respect.”

In a statement, California Department of Social Services did not confirm if an inspector had been to the facility to investigate the latest incident and said:

“The Department is conducting an investigation and working with local law enforcement. The Department cannot comment on ongoing investigations.”

Stebner believes the state has enough grounds to give Atria more than a fine in this case.

“The state should put them on probation for something like that and watch them very closely. If they don’t meet them probationary requirements, they should shut them down,” said Stebner.

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