Woman Dies After Being Served Dishwashing Liquid Instead of Juice

Tragedy happened at California senior living facility
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 31, 2022 3:00 AM CDT
Updated Aug 31, 2022 6:50 AM CDT
Woman Dies After Being Served Dishwashing Liquid Instead of Juice
Stock photo.   (Getty Images / mirror-images)

Three residents at a California assisted living home were served dishwashing detergent instead of juice, and one of them died. The 93-year-old woman was taken to a hospital along with the other two residents, and died there, CNN reports. The other two remain hospitalized after the incident at Atria Park in San Mateo. Atria says its "sincerest condolences" are with the resident's family, and that an internal investigation is underway into how liquid dish soap could have been served instead of juice. The employees involved have been suspended until the probe is complete. The facility is also cooperating with investigations by the local police department and the California Department of Social Services Ombudsman.

The daughter of the woman who died identifies her as Gertrude Elizabeth Murison Maxwell, and tells KRON the family was told she ingested an "alkaline cleaning solution that eats protein" and was taken to the hospital with "severe blistering of her mouth and throat and esophagus." The daughter says her mother could not feed herself and has to have a cup tipped into her mouth in order to drink. Atria Senior Living, the parent company that runs more than 200 locations across the US and Canada, has faced complaints in the past, KRON reports. In 2018, the company was sued by the family of an 86-year-old woman who was injured multiple times while under its care. Another complaint of an injured resident was lodged in 2020. Investigations found fault with the facilities involved each time. (Read more California stories.)

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