• Suspect nursing home abuse or neglect?
  • KNOW THE SIGNS
  • KNOW YOUR RIGHTS
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For elderly adults who live on their own or in nursing homes and assisted-living facilities, falls can result in serious and life-threatening injuries. While falls are not the result of elder abuse, they can occur when there is a clear issue of nursing home neglect. A recent article in the New York Times emphasized that the number of reported falls among older adults—many of those accidents leading to serious and sometimes fatal injuries—is a number that is “soaring.”

Nursing Home Regulations file000289604980Aimed at Preventing Falls

How can nursing homes take steps to prevent dangerous falls? The New York Times article discusses the policies put in place recently by a retirement community which require that, during mealtimes, residents who use walkers to get around must have their walkers “valet parked” after they find a seat at the table. In addition, they are not permitted to use their walkers during the meal—they must stay in their seats while staff members serve them. While many residents of the facility argued that the policy “infringed on [one’s] freedom of movement,” it prevented a number of serious falls at the buffet.

What about at non-mealtimes, when nursing home and assisted-living facility residents might not be under such close monitoring? Many of these facilities are struggling to balance residents’ freedoms with the risk of a serious fall. In particular, most of the rulemakers at these facilities—in California and across the country—know that, when an elderly resident suffers an injury during a preventable fall, that resident may be able to file a claim for nursing home neglect.

Experts indicate that nursing homes throughout the U.S. are beginning the process of creating rules and regulations aimed specifically at preventing falls, given that the number of fall-related injuries have risen dramatically in recent years. For some facilities, this means trying to anticipate hazardous conditions, and hiring architects and designers who can outfit a facility in a way that is safer for elderly residents.

Structural and design changes can take the form of automatic floor lighting that helps to guide seniors from the bed to the restroom, for instance, or energy-absorbing floors that reduce the impact from a fall. For other facilities, changes take the form of rules like the one that prevents residents from using their walkers during mealtime.

Facts and Figures Concerning Elderly Falls

Based on figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a shockingly high number of older adults sustain fatal injuries in fall-related accidents. In 2012, about 24,000 seniors died from injuries they sustained after a fall. That number has doubled over the last decade. And the numbers are even higher for emergency room visits linked to serious falls. In 2012, more than 2.4 million adults over the age of 65 received emergency room treatment for injuries connected to a preventable fall. That number shows a 50 percent increase from 2002.

Over the last ten years, more than 200,000 seniors have sustained fatal injuries in preventable falls. Indeed, falls are “the leading cause of injury-related death in that age group.”

If your parent or elderly loved one suffered a serious fall at a nursing home or assisted-living facility, you should contact an experienced San Diego elder abuse lawyer. You may be able to hold the facility liable.

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When we think about nursing home abuse and neglect, most of us imagine a scenario in which a healthcare professional or nursing home employee mistreats an elderly resident. However, a recent study conducted by Cornell University Weill Medical College found that many facilities actually see “a high level of resident-to-resident elder mistreatment.”

Nursing home abuse can take many different forms, and it can result in serious and life-threatening injuries to your elderly loved one. If you believe that your parent has been the victim of nursing home abuse or neglect, do not hesitate to contact an experienced San Diego elder abuse lawyer.

file0001780974018Aggressive Encounters with Fellow Residents

According to the study out of Cornell, about 20 percent of all residents were “involved in at least one aggressive encounter with fellow residents” during a one-month period. The study involved more than 2,000 nursing home residents, and it also included data from interviews with staff members, internal nursing home reports, direct observation, and responses to a questionnaire given to both residents and staff members. The researchers presented their findings at the Gerontological Society of America Annual Scientific Meeting earlier this month.

Karl Pillemer, a lead researcher on the study and a member of the faculty at Weill Cornell Medical College, indicated that “these altercations are widespread and common in everyday nursing home life.” And many people are not aware of this form of elder abuse. Indeed, Pillemer explained, “despite the acute urgency of the problem, resident-to-resident mistreatment is underreported.” What can we do to stop it? Pillemer suggests “increased awareness and the adoption of effective interventions.” Pillemer conducted the study with Mark S. Lachs, a professor of clinical medicine as well as the medical director of the New York City Elder Abuse Center.

Pillemer and Lachs’ study is the first of its kind in many ways. While other researchers have explored the issue of elder-to-elder abuse in nursing homes and assisted-living facilities, the recent study newly included direct observations of the residents and interviews with those residents in order to “determine the prevalence and predictors of elder mistreatment between residents in nursing homes.”

Determining Which Elderly Residents Are at Greatest Risk of Abuse

Who is at greatest risk of elder-to-elder abuse at nursing homes? The study came to the following conclusions about the types of residents who may be more likely than others to be involved in this form of abuse:

  • Younger residents;
  • Residents who show some signs of cognitive disability, but who are “less cognitively and physically impaired” than other residents;
  • Residents who are “prone to disruptive behavior;” and
  • Residents with the ability to physically move around the facility

Interestingly, the study found no clear distinction between male and female residents. It did, however, discover that white and Latino residents were more likely to be involved in elder-to-elder abuse than were African American residents. It is important to note, however, that the study did not differentiate between victims and perpetrators.

Has your elderly parent shown signs of nursing home abuse or neglect? You should contact an experienced California nursing home abuse lawyer as soon as possible to discuss your case.

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Statistics in Southern California suggest that elder abuse is an extremely underreported crime, which means that many older adults suffer injuries while their abuses go unpunished. A recent article in the Los Angeles Daily News reported that Los Angeles officials recently indicated that the city will take greater efforts to protect the elderly from nursing home abuse. How will these new measures work? In short, millions of dollars in funding are going to flow in from the Department of Justice and the Verizon Corporation.

DSC_5767Elder Abuse Prevention Grants to the City of Los Angeles

Will San Diego be able to get the kind of funding that Los Angeles recently received? Grants totaling $1.6 million were provided in Los Angeles primarily to train police officers to recognize signs and symptoms of elder abuse—a skill that officials hope will lead to more abuse and neglect reporting. Last year, the Los Angeles Police Department saw a shockingly low number of elder abuse reports—only 100. To place that number in perspective, the LAPD received more than 11,000 claims of domestic violence reports in 2013.

Why do police officers need to receive such special training? First, elder abuse often is committed at the hands of the elderly person’s family members and caregivers. Without outside assistance, those older adults may continue to suffer injuries from elder abuse. And in cases where family members call the police to investigate claims of abuse and neglect at nursing homes, it is extremely important that those officers know what to look for. City Attorney Mike Feuer explained that there are “gaps” in the elder abuse focus on Los Angeles, and the funds are intended to help close those gaps.

Identifying Signs and Symptoms of Elder Abuse

What will these new programs that are supposed to help law enforcement officers identify signs of elder abuse and nursing home neglect look like? Both private sector and nonprofit organizations are partnering up to “help law enforcement attune to impalpable signals that could indicate mistreatment of this vulnerable population.”

What are some signs and symptoms of elder abuse that might not be obvious? According to the Administration on Aging (AoA), bruising or other signs of physical injury such as pressure marks, abrasions, and burns can all create cause for concern. In addition, it is important to keep an eye out for a change in an elderly person’s behavior. If your parent suddenly seems withdrawn from normal activities, seems less alert, or appears depressed, you may be dealing with an emotional abuse situation. In addition to abuse, you should learn to identify symptoms of neglect, which can range widely from severe bedsores to poor hygiene.

Elder abuse is much too common, and many cases go unreported because loved ones are not able to recognize the signs and symptoms of nursing home neglect or abuse. If you have reason to believe that your parent suffered an injury because of elder abuse, contact an experienced San Diego nursing home abuse attorney today to learn more about how we can help.

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Earlier this month, the Sacramento Bee ran a story that exposed the lack of oversight from the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) when it comes to nursing home abuse allegations. What is going on? According to the article, the CDPH is “weighed down by a backlog of more than 11,000 open complaints” with “no clear path to dig its way out.”

Evidence of this serious problem became cID-10045437lear after an audit report was released toward the end of October 2014. In short, the CDPH appears to have failed elderly adults in nursing homes and assisted-living facilities by failing to manage its investigations of elder abuse complaints received.

Numerous Problems “Up and Down the State”

While the Sacramento Bee was among the first newspapers to run the story about the recent CDPH audit, the report makes clear that the investigation problems exist far beyond northern California. Indeed, from San Diego up through Mendocino County, it looks as if the CDPH has not taken proper care with the elder abuse complaints it has received. To be sure, the audit showed that, “up and down the state,” a number of different district offices “were found to be inconsistent and haphazard in their handling of complaints, investigations, and corrective action plans.”

The report showed that department officials readily acknowledged the problems the CDPH has had with regard to investigating complaints, and many of those officially actually agreed with recommendations that came out of the audit. However, the CDPH has shown tremendous resistance when it comes to establishing a time frame for completing the investigation of a complaint. The CDPH indicated that it “recognizes the importance of timeliness,” but it rejected the notion of setting a specific time limit for investigation on each complaint.

Serious Problems that Were Not Investigated

The backlog of complaints—those cases that are still open—involve allegations of elder abuse that could have very serious repercussions. As the article emphasizes, many of these complaints are “not trivial.” Indeed, the auditor discovered that “40 percent of the unresolved concerns and allegations had been given high priority by the department,” which means that “the reported problem had caused or was likely to cause harm to a resident.”

For example, the Sacramento Bee described one case of elder abuse that was reported in April 2012. According to the auditor’s report, the state of California failed to even assign anyone to investigate the complaint until August 13, which was nearly a year and a half after the incident. By that time, the injured resident had left the nursing home, and the certified nurse assistant who had been implicated in the abuse got away with a mere warning. And this case represented a “high-priority” case for the CDPH.

Lower priority cases went unresolved for particularly long periods. The audit suggests that, for those cases not marked as high priority, the average time between complaint and investigation was about 3,500 days on average—or, in other words, ten years.

If you suspect that your elderly parent has been the victim of elder abuse at a long-term care facility in California, it is extremely important that you contact an experienced San Diego nursing home abuse lawyer.

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Upsides of California Assisted Living Care

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Did you know that Southern California is home to the largest Latino and Asian populations in the country? According to a recent article in the Los Angeles Times, elderly persons within these populations may not be getting a fair deal in elder abuse cases. When claims go to court, it is important for a judge or a jury to understand a plaintiff’s injuries and to grasp the extent of the nursing home abuse or neglect that took place. However, when your first language is not English, it is sometimes extremely difficult to mIMG_1930ake your way through the justice system.

Language Barriers to Legal Forms, Filings, and Testimonies

In California alone, the Los Angeles Times estimates that there are about seven million “limited-English proficient speakers,” and for those people, the civil court system is “practically impenetrable.” What is the problem?

Imagine the following scenario. Your elderly mother sustained injuries due to nursing home neglect in a San Diego facility. Both you and your mother are native Spanish speakers. You are only proficient in English, and your mother barely speaks English at all. When it comes time to file a lawsuit, you attempt to examine the paperwork you will need to file in order to initiate your claim.

Given that your English-language skills are not to the level of native fluency, you have difficulty understanding the legal terms used. Keep in mind—legal language is often quite complex and difficult for even a native English speaker to comprehend. As a result of your confusion due to language barriers, when it comes to filing a lawsuit, your mother’s claim is not filed on time. Indeed, the language in the statute of limitations was difficult to parse, and you did not contact a lawyer in time.

Even if you make it to the courtroom, you are still going to face serious language difficulties. To be sure, “people in civil court do not have the constitutional right to an interpreter.” As such, your elderly mother’s testimony about the injuries she sustained may not be clear to the judge or the jury. Is this a fair way to handle cases?

Interpreter Requirements and the Elderly Population

Last year, the Department of Justice took a close look at the number of residents in Los Angeles County who could not speak English fluently and were in need of a courtroom translator. The Department ultimately concluded that court proceedings must make available free language services, and that nearly $8 million in the California budget—allocated for interpreter services— remained unspent.

Do residents of San Diego County need these services as much as residents of Los Angeles County? According to data reported by the U.S. Census Bureau, more than twelve percent of the San Diego County population is aged 65 and older. Of the total population, about one-third are Hispanic or Latino. This number is significant because “more than 80 percent of litigants who have difficulty with English are Latino.” While all Hispanic or Latino residents of San Diego County certainly do not fall within this category, it is important to keep in mind that many Californians’ native fluency is in another language, and they may only be proficient in spoken and written English.

If your elderly loved one sustained injuries from nursing home abuse or neglect, you should not need to worry about problems of translation and language comprehension. It is extremely important to have an advocate on your side, and one of our experienced San Diego elder abuse lawyers can speak with you today.

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California Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program

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First Nursing Home Facility Rating System in California

As the population of California continues to age, and more baby boomers find themselves thinking about San Diego assisted-living facilities and nursing homes, it is becoming more important than ever to ensure that seniors in the San Diego area are protected from nursing home abuse and neglect.  According to a recent story San Diego CBS 8, San Diego County leaders currently are in the process of developing an elder care facility rating system that is aimed at preventing elder abuse.

file0001867553256According to the news story, the new rating system will be the first of its kind in California.  The ratings will be based on several different factors, and the Board of Supervisors hopes that the system will allow families to make informed decisions about the care of their elderly loved ones. The system is still in its early stages, but the Board of Supervisors unanimously approved its creation, emphasizing the need to protect older adults from physical, emotional, and sexual abuse in Southern California facilities.

New Elder Abuse Protection Unit Funding

While the San Diego County Board of Supervisors approved a new rating system designed to help seniors decide on an appropriate elder care facility, and thus to prevent elder abuse, the story also reported on increased funding to the District Attorney’s office.  While the new elder care facility rating system is designed for prevention measures, additional funding to the Elder Abuse Protection Unit will help the county to hold abusers accountable.

Each year, according to the San Diego County District Attorney, the county handles about 9,000 cases of elder abuse.  It is important to remember that many of these incidents go unreported, and the District Attorney’s office can only take action if abuse is properly reported.  Additionally, it is essential to report elder abuse situations so that the victim can be eligible to file a civil claim to seek compensation for his or her injuries.

How does reporting work in San Diego County? Generally speaking, if you witness a crime of elder abuse as it is happening, you should call 911 or a local law enforcement agency.  But if you suspect elder abuse or neglect already occurred, you can contact Adult Protective Services.  In many cases, healthcare providers and social services professionals are “mandated reporters,” which means that they must report a suspected occurrence of elder abuse.

In addition to the elder facility rating system, the Board of Supervisors hopes that additional funds for prosecuting elder abuse can help to bolster the work already being conducted by the Elder Abuse Protection Unit.  In San Diego County, the Elder Abuse Unit is part of a larger “Family Protection Division.”  In addition to prosecuting acts of elder abuse, the unit also provides educational outreach to seniors so that they know how to protect themselves from abuse, and how to report it in the event that abuse or neglect occurs.

Contact a San Diego Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer

Given the recent news across the country concerning elder abuse and neglect in San Diego’s assisted-living facilities, it does not come as a surprise that San Diego County leaders have begun taking steps to help prevent and combat elder abuse in Southern California.  If your elderly loved one sustained injuries because of elder abuse or neglect, it is extremely important to talk with an experienced San Diego nursing home abuse lawyer today.  Contact the Walton Law Firm to learn about how we can help.

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California Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program

Grant Funding to Combat Elder Abuse

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Who looks out for aging Californians who do not have relatives our outside caregivers to keep an eye out for the signs of elder abuse?  The California State Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program is in place to make sure that older adults receive proper care in long-term care facilities across the state.  What is a long-term care facility?  Examples in California include: nursing homes, assisted-living facilities, and residential care facilities for the elderly (RCFEs).

San Diego residents following the latest news about RCFEs know that many of these facilities in our state have fallen under much scrutiny in recent months, along with many assisted-living facilities.  The Long-Term Care (LTC) Ombudsman program speID-100190126cifically “investigates elder abuse complaints” at facilities such as these.

Services Offered by the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program

According to the California Department of Aging, the LTC Ombudsman Program is intended to provide a number of services for older adults who may have been victims of nursing home abuse or neglect.  For example, some of the services provided by the LTC Ombudsman Program include:

  • Answering questions and/or responding to concerns about a senior’s quality of care;
  • Responding to the suspected physical, mental, or emotional abuse of residents in nursing homes, assisted-living facilities, and RCFEs;
  • Providing witnessing services for advance health care directives;
  • Providing an Ombudsman to attend a resident care plan meeting;
  • Providing an Ombudsman to attend a resident or family council meeting.

The ultimate goals of the LTC Ombudsman Program, according to the Department of Aging, are centered around patient advocacy.  This advocacy take two different forms:

  • Receiving and resolving individual complaints from, or on behalf of, residents of long-term care facilities; and
  • Pursuing resident advocacy in the long-term care health system, which means attending to the law, policies, regulations, and administration.  The Ombudsman Program tries to do this through public education and consensus building, according to its website.

In San Diego County specifically, Aging and Independent Services (AIS) provides assistance to older adults and their families.  At the same time, it is important to know that you may have legal recourse in the event of nursing home abuse or neglect.  A San Diego elder abuse attorney can assess your case today.

Ombudsman Volunteers Helping the Elderly

Volunteers also assist the LTC Ombudsman Program throughout the state of California.  According to an article in the Bakersfield Californian, Ombudsman volunteers are vital to helping the program run.  These volunteers often “visit local nursing homes and check in on elderly residents who have no family or friends to watch out for them.”  In addition, “regular visits by Ombuds man volunteers also keep nursing homes to a high standard of care and cleanliness.”  Many of the local programs need volunteers, as full-time employees are not able to visit the facilities with the same frequency.  Yet despite its dedicated employees and volunteers, the LTC Ombudsman Program cannot prevent or equally attend to each case of suspected nursing home abuse.

Indeed, while the California Department of Aging makes efforts to investigate complaints of nursing home abuse and neglect throughout the state, many California seniors continue to sustain injuries as a result of elder abuse.  If you are concerned that your parent or elderly loved one has suffered injuries at a nursing home, assisted-living facility, or RCFE in Southern California, contact an experienced San Diego nursing home abuse attorney.

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Grant Funding to Combat Elder Abuse

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Is elder care in America working, or do we need a new system to ensure better nursing home quality of care for seniors?  According to a recent article in Forbes, the system as it currently stands just is not working.  Indeed, the author suggests that the disproportionate attention to caution and safety results in risk aversion, which actually may diminish the quality of care that the elderly receive at nursing homes and assisted living facilities.

Nursing Home CareDoes Risk Aversion Result in Lower Quality of Life?

Why would risk aversion result in seniors experiencing a lower quality of life?  The article explains that many assisted-living facilities are particularly concerned about accusations of neglect.  As a result, each time a patient complains of pain or falls, staff at the facility will call an ambulance.

For example, a woman with dementia was residing in an assisted-living facility.  The elderly woman had an anxiety issue about needing to use the bathroom, and often complained and became agitated when she did not have easy access to a toilet.  She often fell without sustaining obvious injuries, but each time, the staff would call EMTs to take the woman to the hospital in an ambulance.  When she arrived at the emergency room, she was not classified as a high priority patient.  As such, she would lay on a gurney and wait to be seen.  While waiting, she would experience extreme anxiety about being unable to use the bathroom.  Following these unnecessary hospital visits, it would take “several days” for her to “recover her cognitive function back to its baseline” given her dementia.

Years later, the same woman eventually required care in a nursing home.  When the facility recognized that she occasionally had trouble eating without choking on her food, she was placed on “a soft diet with thickened liquids.”  What is wrong with this?  It “meant that one of her few remaining pleasures was removed.”

Maintaining the Right to Take Informed Risks

Should assisted-living facilities and nursing homes accept waiver liabilities for older patients who want to maintain a better quality of life while risking injury?  According to the Forbes article, elder care facilities are extremely hesitant to accept waivers such as these.  But should older adults maintain the right to take informed risks at the possible detriment to a facility’s reputation?

According to the California Department of Public Health, nursing home residents in California do maintain specific rights.  While many of the “Nursing Home Residents’ Rights” concern receiving certain treatments rather than refusing them, the language is clear for elder residents’ rights: “you have the right to accept or refuse treatment, and if you accept, you have the right to change your mind for any reason at any time.”  While consent typically is implied for routine care like bathing and feeding (or is given in the admission agreement to the facility), residents should still know that they do have rights with regard to their treatment, and even their routine care, when they’re in a nursing home or assisted-living facility.

Do you have questions about your elderly loved one’s rights in a nursing home or concerns about nursing home abuse?  Contact an experienced San Diego nursing home abuse lawyer at the Walton Law Firm today.

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Elder abuse is much too common across the country, and nursing homes and assisted-living facilities in California have proven particularly prominent offenders of nursing home abuse and neglect.  What do we need to prevent elder abuse in our state?  Many elder rights supporters believe that policy changes might help, and a recent grant aims to help with this kind of advocacy work.

Southern California file0001159645301Center Receives Advocacy Grant

According to a recent news release from the University of Southern California, the Keck School of Medicine became the sole grant recipient to fund the National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA).  The NCEA is, according to the article, “a vital clearinghouse created by the Administration on Aging,” which is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The $2.2 million grant will be dispersed over a three-year period to fund NCEA programs.  The programs will include some of the following:

  • Technical assistance and training programs for states and community-based organizations to develop their own methods for generating elder abuse awareness and prevention;
  • Intervention and response efforts to address elder abuse claims among authorities and administrators;
  • Increasing identification and reporting of elder abuse;
  • Improving the ability for those within the elderly community to detect, intervene in, and prevent the abuse of others; and
  • Researching possible policy changes on behalf of the elderly in California and across the country.

Top Los Angeles Hospital to Direct Elder Abuse Initiatives

It is extremely important to raise awareness about elder abuse and to develop measures to prevent it.  Laura Mosqueda, who serves as the chair of the department of Family Medicine and Geriatrics at the Keck School of Medicine and as the director for the NCEA, emphasized the striking number of older adults who sustain injuries from abuse.  Indeed, “one in 10 Americans over age 60 suffer some form of elder abuse,” she explained, and noted that the number totals to about “5 million seniors each year.”

As Mosqueda elaborated, advocates at the Keck School of Medicine and the NCEA view “elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation as one of the most pressing civil rights issues facing our aging society.”  Now, since the Keck School was named as the National Center on Elder Abuse, Mosqueda believes that Southern California can become a focal point for elder abuse advocacy work.

Mosqueda believes that Keck will serve as “the entity others look to when they need state-of-the-art information,” and that it will also act as a leader in fields of advocacy, education, and research aimed at preventing nursing home abuse and neglect.  Keck Medicine is routinely recognized as one of the best hospitals in the country, according to data compiled by U.S. News and World Report.

Contact an Elder Abuse Attorney

Do you have an elderly parent who currently resides in a nursing home or assisted living facility?  While most of us do not like to think about the risks of elder abuse in these facilities, it is important to make sure that your loved one is safe and receives proper care.  If you suspect elder abuse or neglect, contact an experienced San Diego nursing home abuse attorney to learn more about your options.

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Class Action Against California Nursing Home Owner

Fines to Increase at Assisted-Living Facilities

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Changes are on the way for nursing homes and California assisted living facilities.  In the midst of shifts to the law, victims of nursing home abuse are filing a class action lawsuit against the owner of 57 skilled nursing facilities in the state, according to an article from Courthouse News Service.  The owner, Schlomo Rechnitz, owns more facilities in the state than any other, with nurfile451297827287 (1)sing homes in nine different California cities, according to a recent report in the Long Beach Press-Telegram.  Rechnitz’s facilities are accused of “chronic understaffing” with allegations of “Actual or suspected abuse or neglect.”

Details of the Class Action Lawsuit

The lawsuit was filed after several years of investigation into the practices at many of Rechnitz’s facilities.  Rechnitz owns Brius Management and Brius LLC, and he owns nursing homes in Inglewood, Los Angeles, Norwalk, Pasadena, San Gabriel, and several other California cities.

According to the lawsuit, investigators discovered that “Rechnitz and his corporate entities hid their history of violating nursing industry laws and regulations from patients and prospective patients.”  In addition, the claim alleges that Rechnitz “chronically understaffed and underfunded the facilities to enhance his profits.”

Brius issued a statement denying the allegations in the lawsuit.  Specifically, the company said that it meets and even exceeds California’s staffing requirements.  According to the articles reporting on the case, in terms of monetary damages, the class action calls for an unspecified amount.  However, it also requests specific action to be taken by Brius and Rechnitz’s other entities, including some of the following:

  •      Compliance with laws governing health care facilities;
  •      Abiding by reporting requirements for future violations;
  •      Drafting a clear policy with procedural requirements when there is suspected patient abuse or neglect.

Based on a statement from Patricia McGinnis, the executive director of the California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform (CANHR), it is not surprising that Rechnitz’s facilities would have problems when it comes to nursing home abuse and neglect.  According to McGinnis, “most facilities in California have issues.”  Indeed, she explained, for-profit skilled nursing facilities are particularly to blame, as “their allegiance is to the investors, not to the nursing home residents.”

Related Nursing Home Abuse Claims

The class action is not the first mention of Rechnitz’s name in terms of nursing home abuse allegations.  According to Michael Connors, an elder rights advocate with CANHR, Rechnitz and his Brius company were the subjects of “an emergency motion filed in August by the California Attorney General’s Office.”

That motion referred to Rechnitz as “a serial violator of rules within the skilled nursing industry.”  It pointed to specific instances in which Rechnitz’s companies would not turn over materials to the California Department of Health Care Services.  Connors explained that CANHR is “troubled by the poor performance factors and by the high number of deficiencies” in Rechnitz’s facilities, and the advocacy group worries that older adults in these nursing homes are not receiving the proper quality of care.

If you have an elderly loved one at a nursing home in Southern California, it is important to ensure that your loved one stays safe and receives the care that she or he needs.  If you suspect that an older adult has been the victim of nursing home abuse or neglect, you should contact an experienced San Diego nursing home abuse attorney.

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