A nursing home operator’s greed in allegedly purchasing nursing homes with the sole intention to flip the property into condominiums led some residents to suffer a premature death. That’s according to a new lawsuit filed by the previous operator of the nursing home, which alleges it sold the nursing home to defendant after defendant reportedly promised to invest in the future of the nursing home and that nothing would change for residents.
However, less than two months after the sale was finalized, according to plaintiff, the new administrator for the facility started to move patients out for a number of reasons, which reportedly changed depending on who asked. In some instances, administrators said Medicaid patients were being moved to make room for higher-paying patients. Other times, they indicated they had to make room for a new therapy center at the facility.
But by October of 2015, the same year the facility was purchased, the nursing home’s previous owners learned through media reports the company filed a permit to demolish the nursing home, and in its place build a brand new luxury condominium building in a matter of a few weeks. Plaintiff facility argues that by moving residents, some who had lived in the center for many years, they caused undue harm to the health of the patients – some of whom died prematurely. The facility is suing to nullify the sale of the facility, which plaintiff alleged was completed under false pretenses, and to collect damages for the harm that resulted from this misrepresentation.
As of this juncture, no nursing home lawsuits have been filed by residents or family members of the facility.
This same company has been under investigation in the past – once by the New York Attorney General – for these same kinds of nursing home flips. In the incident investigated by the New York Attorney General for buying a a nursing home and then selling it for housing developments, in turn raking in a $72 million profit. The sale was only allowed after the mayor’s office lifted the deed restrictions, which had designated that only not-for-profit residential healthcare centers could operate there.
Not long after, the owner of another nursing home in Harlem sued the state attorney general’s office after the $32 million sale of its facilities was initially approved – and then later reversed – by the AG, who asserted the buyer (same as defendant in these other cases) had allegedly tried to conceal its identity during the transaction. The attorney general’s office demanded the buyer turn over emails and other related documents to that blocked sale, under suspicion the firm was trying to flip the property.
While these are all business deals and the cases will likely hinge on breach of contract, there were real-life damages suffered by the involved residents and their families. Whether a nursing home resident might be able to make a solid case on these grounds would depend if the plaintiff could show the new buyer in some way breached a specific duty of care to the patient. For example, if while operating a nursing home, the buyer failed to provide a basic level of care resulting in illness or injury, that could be grounds for litigation.
It’s always important to talk to an experienced nursing home injury attorney to discuss your questions and concerns.
Call Freeman Injury Law — 1-800-561-7777 for a free appointment to discuss your rights. Now serving Orlando, West Palm Beach, Port St. Lucie and Fort Lauderdale.
Landlord’s plans to turn SNF into condos led to residents’ deaths, lawsuit claims, Dec. 22, 2016, By Emily Mongan, McKnight’s
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