Residents at Dallas Assisted Living Home Overdosed on Opioids and Whiskey Left Unsecured, Lawsuit Says

Four patients at a northwest Dallas assisted-living home overdosed on opioids and alcohol after caregivers left the substances in unlocked cabinets, according to a lawsuit filed the Texas Health and Human Services Commission.The commission is seeking penalties of up to $10,000 for each code violation by Avendelle Assisted Living.Officials received two complaints that an ambulance rushed the four patients, who all of whom had difficulty breathing and experienced "altered mental states," to a hospital in April 2018, according to the lawsuit. None of them had been prescribed medications containing alcohol or opioids.The patients had been staying at an eight-bed Avendelle home on Royal Lane, where the Health and Human Services Commission says caregivers had kept medications and a bottle of whiskey in unsecured cabinets at the facility.That week, inspectors cited Avendelle for policies that didn't "address the prevention of the diversion of controlled drugs" and for failing to ensure residents had not been abused, exploited or neglected.Inspectors said in July 2017 that Avendelle didn't properly dispose of discontinued medications, maintain food safety standards or test employees for tuberculosis at the Royal Lane facility, according to HHSC records.The HHSC cited five of Avendelle's seven Dallas-area facilities for violations ranging from failure to ensure staff had undergone background checks and in-service education to storing food at unsafe temperatures.Avendelle houses fewer than 10 patients at each of its residences in Dallas, Plano and Euless, according to HHSC records."Larger facilities often mean more room for error," their website reads.Avendelle president Terry Hubbard, who is also named in the lawsuit, declined to comment.The lawsuit, which was filed Thursday, asks the court to issue an injunction to Avendelle, demanding they train staff monthly on how to properly store, control and dispose of drugs and alcohol. They would also have to relocate residents to a licensed facility if HHSC deemed it necessary for the patients' safety.  Continue reading...

Copyright The Dallas Morning News
Contact Us