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Lanterman Did Not Properly Investigate 55 Injuries And One Death, Feds Say
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
October 9, 2003

POMONA, CALIFORNIA--Lanterman Developmental Center, an institution housing 650 people with intellectual disabilities, has placed some of its residents in "immediate jeopardy" of being harmed, according to a 72-page report by federal investigators.

During an August visit, reviewers found that Lanterman officials failed to investigate 55 resident injuries along with three other incidents that "met the definition of abuse or neglect, including a client death."

In one incident from March, a 33-year-old resident died after a nurse improperly reinserted his feeding tube into his abdomen, causing a fatal infection.

The facility was required to immediately correct the problems in order to avoid losing federal funding. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said it was satisfied with Lanterman's response.

Sherry Kohler, acting executive director of Lanterman, said she felt the federal inspectors were holding Lanterman to a "much higher standard" than other institutions. "Unfortunately, for some reason, the cards are stacked against us these last few months," Kohler told the Los Angeles Times.

In July, the California Department of Health Services fined Lanterman $25,000 for failing to protect Mark Orchen, a 31-year-old resident who was kicked to death in his bedroom in August 2002. Police and state officials disagree over whether Orchen was murdered by a fellow resident or a staff member. No suspect has been arrested in the murder case.


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