Formal Complaint Filed Regarding ADA Violations at Skilled Nursing Facility in Sacramento, California - PLG Nursing Home Abuse & Neglect Injury Attorneys in California

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Formal Complaint Filed Regarding ADA Violations at Skilled Nursing Facility in Sacramento, California

Formal Complaint Filed Regarding ADA Violations at Skilled Nursing Facility in Sacramento, California

In January 2022, the Peck Law Group and Foundation Aiding the Elderly (FATE) received an official complaint from a male patient living in a skilled nursing facility in Sacramento.

The referenced facility, Bruceville Terrace, is accused of several issues, including insufficient staffing, violating the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) regulations, and not providing a designated smoking area for new patients.

ADA Compliance in California Nursing Facilities

In his complaint, the resident stated that this facility’s doors to the patio are not ADA compliant, making it difficult for patients in wheelchairs to enter or exit the building.

The 2019 California Building Code, Chapter 11B, emphasizes the importance of accessibility to public buildings, public accommodations, commercial buildings, and public housing. Building identifiable accessible routes are key, including for a nursing facility.

According to Division 4 of the code, “accessible routes” are defined as “A continuous unobstructed path connecting accessible elements and spaces of an accessible site, building or facility that can be negotiated by a person with a disability using a wheelchair, and that is also safe for and usable by persons with other disabilities.”

Division 4 also defines “path of travel” as “An identifiable accessible route within an existing site, building or facility by means of which a particular area may be approached, entered, and exited, and which connects a particular area with an exterior approach (including sidewalks, streets, and parking areas), an entrance to the facility, and other parts of the facility.”

Skilled nursing facilities that do not follow ADA compliance must consider making reasonable changes to their facility structure, nursing practices, building policies, and formal procedures. Ultimately, all skilled nursing facilities shall be fully accessible and inclusive to folks with disabilities.

Smoking Regulations in California Nursing Facilities

Another key issue raised by the current Bruceville resident pertains to smoking regulations. He claimed that the nursing facility no longer allows new patients to smoke in a designated smoking area.

The resident also alleged that, recently, the facility operator declared this nursing facility to be a non-smoking facility. However, patients who smoke and already reside in the facility are grandfathered in and still allowed to smoke. Any new patients are not permitted to smoke in or around the facility.

According to Section B of the California Code of Regulations [“C.C.R.”] § 72507, “The [skilled nursing] facility shall provide designated areas for smoking. Patients shall be permitted to smoke only in designated areas. The designated area shall be under the periodic observation of facility personnel or responsible adults. This does not preclude the designation of the patient rooms as smoking areas.”

As stated under Section C of CCR 72507, skilled nursing facilities need to “provide a designated area for non-smoking patients. Such a designated area shall be identified by prominently posted ‘No Smoking’ signs.”

And finally, Section E of CCR 72507 states that “The facility shall make every reasonable effort to assign patients to rooms according to the patient’s individual nonsmoking or smoking preferences.”

Under the official California Code of Regulations, not one section mentions that a nursing facility shall declare itself a “non-smoking facility.” Certainly, residents who smoke and already live in a nursing facility do not receive precedence over incoming residents.

Arguably, this particular skilled nursing facility’s current issue about smoking versus non-smoking residents is considered another form of nursing negligence and lack of quality care.

Have You Experienced Negligence at a California Nursing Home?

If so you are not alone. Contact the Peck Law Group today to learn more about the steps you can take to hold long-term care facilities responsible.

Nursing Home Abuse & Neglect Attorney Steven Peck

About the Author

Attorney Steven Peck has been practicing law since 1981. A former successful business owner, Mr. Peck initially focused his legal career on business law. Within the first three years, after some colleagues and friend’s parents endured nursing home neglect and elder abuse, he continued his education to begin practicing elder law and nursing home abuse law.


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