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LA Nursing Facility Indicted After Patient's Failed Suicide Attempt

LOS ANGELES (CBS) — A Montrose nursing facility and its former administrator have been indicted on charges of felony abuse and neglect in the death of a mentally ill patient, according to reports Tuesday.

A Los Angeles grand jury handed down the indictments in June against Verdugo Valley Skilled Nursing and Wellness Centre and Phyllis Paver, the center's former administrator, the Los Angeles Times reported.

An arraignment took place Friday, with a trial scheduled for Sept. 6, California Attorney General Kamala Harris said in a statement cited by The Times.

In January, 2009, the center admitted Charles Morrill, 34, who was suicidal and had a history of mental illness. The facility lacked staff and training to care for mentally ill patients, according to the statement.

Morrill attempted suicide by firing a fire extinguisher into his mouth and wheeling himself out into a street so he could be hit by a car, according to a report, cited by The Times, on the website for California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform.

Each time, he was hospitalized, then accepted back to Verdugo Valley.

He finally committed suicide -- by again firing a fire extinguisher into his mouth -- a month after his initial admission to the facility, according to Harris' statement.

Verdugo Valley remains open but will lose its license and federal funding if there is a felony conviction in the case, the statement said.

CNS-07-12-2011 07:27

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