Coler Rehabilitation and Nursing Care Center suffered 13 confirmed and 1 presumed COVID-19 deaths as of December 4, 2020, according to state records. The nursing home has also received 31 citations for violations of public health code between 2016 and 2020, according to New York State Department of Health records accessed on December 2, 2020. In July 2020, it received a fine of $30,000 in connection to unspecified findings of health code violations. The Brooklyn nursing home’s citations resulted from a total of four surveys by state inspectors. The deficiencies they describe include the following:
1. The nursing home did not adequately implement policies and procedures to prevent and control infection. Section 483.80 of the Federal Code stipulates that nursing home facilities must establish and maintain “an infection prevention and control program designed to provide a safe, sanitary and comfortable environment.” A May 2020 citation found that Coler Rehabilitation and Nursing Care Center failed to do so. The citation states specifically that did not follow “cohorting requirements’ laid out in state guidance related to the prevention and control of Covid-19. The guidance in question required nursing homes to maintain “protocols to separate residents into cohorts of positive, negative, and unknown as well as separate staffing teams to deal with COVID-positive residents and non-positive residents,” and to transfer residents wither within the facility or to another facility if they cannot separate patients in their own facility. The citation goes on to state that residents who tested negative for Covid-19 were not moved out of their rooms when their roommates tested positive. A plan of correction undertaken by the facility included the movement of affected residents and the re-education of staff regarding Covid-19 policies.
2. The nursing home did not adequately control pests. Section 483.90 of the Federal Code stipulates that nursing homes must “Maintain an effective pest control program so that the facility is free of pests and rodents.” A May 2020 citation found that Coler Rehabilitation and Nursing Care Center failed to ensure such. The citation states specifically that “filth flies and fruit flies were observed flying around a 4-bed occupancy room and crawling on the surface of a resident’s personal belonging that had been removed from the room,” and that a mouse was observed in a resident’s room, running across the floor. The flies in question were observed around a pile of “soiled crumpled napkins, 3 browned bananas, an orange, and used soda cups” on the floor of a resident’s room. I nan interview, a housekeeper said it’s “difficult” for housekeepers to clean the room in question because the roommate gets agitated “and may even become physical.” In another interview, the resident’s roommate said the resident has a hoarding problem, the facility rarely cleans the room, and “There are flies everywhere and she often sees roaches in the room.” A plan of correction undertaken by the facility included the cleaning of the room and the re-education of both the resident and housekeeping staff.
3. The nursing home did not treat residents with adequate respect and dignity. Section 483.10 of the Federal Code states that nursing home residents have the right to dignity and self-determination, and that facilities “must treat each resident with respect and dignity and care for each resident in a manner and in an environment that promotes maintenance or enhancement of his or her quality of life.” A November 2019 citation found that Coler Rehabilitation and Nursing Care Center did not ensure such. The citation states specifically that a label with one resident’s name was placed on a common area’s wall, and the resident “was placed on a wheelchair platform that was soiled and dirty with chipped paint” beneath the label. In an interview, a Certified Nursing Assistant said that the label had been there for more than a year, that it was put there “so floaters will know that this is where the resident sits,” and that the resident was required to sit there because he had “behaviors” that involved reaching out to strike or grab residents and staff. Asked about the soiled wheelchair platform, the CNA said housekeeping was responsible for cleaning it, and she had not reported it. A plan of correction undertaken by the facility included the removal of the label, the cleaning and painting of the platform, and the re-education of relevant staff.
The attorneys at the Law Offices of Thomas L. Gallivan, PLLC work diligently to protect the rights of nursing home residents. Please contact us to discuss in the event you have a potential case involving neglect or abuse.