SF approves settlement of $100K fine in Laguna Honda patient death

San Francisco approved the settlement of a lawsuit Tuesday over a $100,000 citation from the California Department of Public Health for the 2014 death of a patient at Laguna Honda Hospital.

The citation was issued by the state regulatory agency in 2016 for the incident.

A staffer failed to properly supervise the patient and lock their wheel chair wheels as required on the curbside near a movie theater during a patient trip off campus. The patient was left on an incline and the wheelchair rolled away, causing the patient to fall and sustain a fatal head injury. Laguna Honda is a 780-bed skilled nursing facility operated by the Department of Public Health.

The City Attorney filed a lawsuit over the citation. The settlement maintains the fine amount of $100,000 but the category of the citation was reduced from a class AA to a class A, a less severe category.

Two class AA citations within a 24-month period could result in the California Department of Public’s health suspension or revocation of the facility’s license.

“This was a tragic situation, but given the facts we believe the lesser citation was warranted and ultimately the state agreed with us,” said City Attorney spokesperson John Cote.

The Board of Supervisors unanimously voted to approve the settlement Tuesday.

The Laguna Honda Hospital is currently in the process of searching for a new CEO following the discovery of a patient abuse scandal earlier this year.

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