The Attorney General of California and local officials filed a Complaint on March 15, 2021 in the Superior Court of the State of California County of Keren – Metropolitan Division against Brookdale Senior Living, Inc. (“Brookdale”), which is the nation’s largest senior living facilities owner and operator and has ten skilled nursing facilities (“SNFs”) in California.
The Complaint alleges “Brookdale has systematically violated numerous laws that protect senior and disabled Californians who need the highest levels of skilled nursing care. Brookdale has increased its profits at the expense of the care and rights of its residents, by (1) abruptly discharging residents without adequate notice and without preparing them to be discharged safely, and (2) falsely advertising its quality of care to lure prospective patients and their families to its facilities.”
According to the Plaintiffs’ allegations, “Brookdale has transferred or discharged residents without giving them reasonable notice or adequate preparation. Brookdale does this so it can fill its beds with residents who will bring in more money. Facilities typically are paid substantially more by Medicare than from other sources, such as Medi-Cal. This creates an incentive for Brookdale to discharge residents when their Medicare coverage ends regardless of the care and treatment needs of the residents. Residents, however, have many legal protections to prevent this type of illegal discharge, which Brookdale has systematically disregarded. Where Brookdale is allowed to discharge residents, it is required to, among other things, give residents reasonable notice in writing in the language spoken by the resident, provide a copy to the local ombudsman, and prepare a plan so that they can be discharged safely; Brookdale ignored these requirements.”
“Brookdale has also falsely advertised its quality of care. It provides false data to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (“CMS”), which uses this data to rate the quality of nursing homes. CMS rates each facility on various categories on a five-star scale. These star ratings are based on a variety of measures, including indicators of patient care such as staffing levels, pressure ulcers, weight loss and falls. The ratings are published on the “Nursing Horne Compare” section of the CMS website, and are republished elsewhere, so that prospective patients and their families can compare facilities on objective standards of quality. Brookdale has provided false information to CMS to receive higher star ratings than it deserves, and to attract potential patients to its facilities with false representations about its quality of care.”
The Complaint seeks a court order to prevent Brookdale from engaging in “any practice which violates Business and Professions Code section 17500 et seq., as proved at trial … restore to any person in interest any money or property which may have been acquired by means of any practice declared to be unlawful under Business and Professions Code section 17500 et seq., as proved at trial … restore to any person in interest any money or other property which may have acquired by means of unfair competition, as proved at trial … assess a civil penalty of two thousand five hundred dollars ($2,500) against Defendants for each violation of Business and Professions Code section 17500 et seq., as proved at trial … assess a civil penalty of two thousand five hundred dollars ($2,500) against Defendants for each violation of Business and Professions Code section 17200, as proved at trial … assess, in addition to any penalties assessed under Business and Professions Code sections 17206 and 17536, a civil penalty of two thousand five hundred dollars ($2,500) against Defendants for each violation of Business and Professions Code section 17200 perpetrated against senior citizens or disabled persons, as proved at trial.”
If you or a loved one suffered injuries (or worse) while a resident of a nursing home in California or in another U.S. state due to nursing home resident dumping, nursing home neglect, nursing home negligence, nursing home abuse, a nursing home fall, or nursing home understaffing, you should promptly contact a nursing home claim attorney in California or in your state who may investigate your nursing home claim for you and file a nursing home claim on your behalf or on behalf of your loved one, if appropriate.
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