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Wednesday, June 12, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Four Die From|Poison Mushrooms

SACRAMENTO (CN) - Four of the six residents of a retirement home died when a caretaker picked poisonous mushrooms and used them in gravy, the children of one victim claim in court.

Michael and Ronald Hart sued Prime Service Inc. for the death of their mother, Dorothy M. Hart, at the Gold Age Villa, in Loomis, Calif.

Dorothy died in November 2012 after she was served poisonous mushrooms by co-defendant Lilia Tirdea, a caretaker at Gold Age Villa, according to the lawsuit.

An investigation by the California Department of Social Services found that Tirdea found the mushrooms in Gold Age's back yard, prepared them in a gravy, and served them to herself and five of the facility's six residents.

The investigation found that Tirdea did not know the mushrooms were poisonous and that Gold Age's manager, defendant Raisa Oselsky, had properly instructed Tirdea on food safety and required Tirdea to serve only store-bought foods.

The investigation resulted in Tirdea being banned for life from working in any California care home. No action was taken against Oselsky.

According to the California Poison Control System, there were 1,602 cases of mushroom ingestion reported from January 2011 through November 2012. Five people died; 848 of 903 children younger than 6 who were reported as having eaten wild mushrooms needed medical treatment, and 30 were admitted to intensive care.

The Harts seek damages for wrongful death.

They are represented by Dennis Hill of Lincoln, Calif.

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