Yet another states attorney general has taken aim at a large, for-profit elder nursing care provider, alleging serious neglect that denied patients’ basic needs and also falsification of records and deception of state health officials.
This time, it’s in Pennsylvania, with the target being Golden Living, operated by Golden Gate National Senior Care, LLC and managed by a company called The Beverly Group, which operates some 300 nursing homes across the state. None of those are in Florida, but there are many locations across swaths of the South, including three in Alabama and nearly a dozen in Georgia.
In Pennsylvania, where state Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane announced legal action in a 101-page filing, the company operates more than three dozen facilities. Of those, 14 are named in the lawsuit.
Kane’s office claims this company blatantly profited at the expense of the state’s most vulnerable residents. These are facilities that promised families and the government that they would provide quality care for these individuals. They had no trouble collecting government funding to provide that care, but they failed to follow through. Instead, they skimped on staffing, meals and general oversight, resulting in a failure to meet basic human needs.
As the lawsuit states, “That is simply unacceptable.”
The CEO of Golden Living has denied the allegations, asserting the action is retaliatory and stems from the state attorney general’s cozy relationship with plaintiff attorneys.
The attorney general has not responded to that attack, but rather has allowed the original allegations to stand. Those allegations specifically are that this company was money-hungry. In order save money (and line the pockets of those in the upper echelons of the organization, the company left facilities with not enough help necessary to meet the basic needs of the residents.
That meant all too often, residents were left to soil themselves and then weren’t cleaned for extended periods of time. They weren’t regularly fed or given hydration. They weren’t bathed or dressed. Their teeth weren’t regularly brushed. In some cases, residents had no way to summon anyone to help them. Left to sit for long periods of time, some who were immobile developed painful, infectious bed sores. In some cases, lack of staff meant some residents were awakened at 5 a.m. to be washed or dressed.
This is a company with a history of violations. Knowing what the low staffing levels would mean if state health investigators were aware of it, the attorney general alleges the company directed staff to falsify records. They would indicate residents received certain services when in fact they had not. The records would indicate staffing levels were higher than they were.
Meanwhile, the basic needs of those for whom they promised to care were not being met.
For this level of nursing home neglect, the state attorney general’s office is seeking $1,000 per violation and $3,000 for every violation directly involving a resident over the age of 60. Additionally, the lawsuit seeks restitution for consumers, compensation for cost of litigation and injunctive relief (i.e., shutting down operations until it is certain the facilities are meeting basic standards).
Freeman Injury Law — 1-800-561-7777 for a free appointment to discuss your rights.
AG alleges neglect at nursing home chain, July 2, 2015, By Eric Mark, Citizens Voice
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