Wrongful death suit alleges drug dealing at Atascadero nursing home
March 26, 2015
An Atascadero nursing home failed to take measures to stop an employee from distributing expired narcotics, according to a wrongful death lawsuit filed in San Luis Obispo Superior Court. [Tribune]
Michelle Hughes, 48, died of a drug overdose in April 2014. Hughes, who worked as a dietary supervisor at Atascadero Christian Community nursing home, allegedly received a lethal dose of morphine from a co-worker, who was also her cousin.
Last week, a Los Angeles attorney filed suit on behalf of Hughes’ three children against Pacific Christian Senior Services, the parent firm of the nursing home. The employee who allegedly distributed the deadly amount of morphine is not named as a defendant in the suit.
That employee was tasked with maintaining, distributing and disposing of expired narcotics. Instead, the worker distributed expired narcotics without prescriptions or medical supervision, the lawsuit claims.
The suit alleges that the nursing home is responsible for Hughes’ death because it failed to supervise the employee during the destruction of narcotics, and it did not maintain logs required by federal law.
Hughes suffered from a painful neurological disease, according to the lawsuit. She also had a history of depression, anxiety, hypothyroidism, asthma, back problems and opiate abuse, according to a police report.
About a month prior to her death, Hughes wrote on Facebook that she hates her “F—— LIFE” and that she was throwing in the white towel.
On April 19, 2014, Hughes was found dead in a Glendora residence. Her hometown was Paso Robles, and it is unclear why she was found in Glendora.
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