OXNARD — A nursing home has settled a wrongful death lawsuit that claimed an 85-year-old woman died of dehydration and kidney failure from insufficient care.
The daughter and son of Anna Mary Dumont settled their claim against Shoreline Care Center and its Orange County-based parent company, Covenant Care California Inc., earlier this month, averting a trial in January.
The amount of the settlement is confidential, said the family's lawyer, Mark Hiepler. But the settlement is "a very large amount" considering Dumont's age and feeble condition before her death, he said.
"I hope my mother's death and this case will change their behavior and save other lives," said plaintiff Barbara Aguilar of Camarillo.
Covenant attorney Alex Giovaniello and Shoreline Administrative Director Maggie Parreno were unavailable for comment.
Hiepler said the Shoreline settlement should put nursing homes on notice that they must provide adequate care, as well as serving to warn children to check staffing before placing a parent in a nursing facility.
"Our hope is that the size of this settlement will send a message to this corporation that they can't put profits above the care of the most vulnerable people in our society," Hiepler said. "They had one registered nurse for 72 Alzheimer's patients. They staffed it low because there's no minimum state standard, and because it was financially expedient."
Dumont died in 1997, a week after she was hospitalized with dehydration and bedsores and eight months after her children placed her at Shoreline.