California Jury Sends $20 Million Message to For-Profit Nursing Homes
By Attorney Jeffrey J. Downey, P.C., serving Maryland, Virginia, and Washington DC
Sometimes I feel I’m on a treadmill, reading about the latest attempts by corporations avoid accountability regarding negligence occurring at their nursing home facilities. Yet there are moments that show justice does prevail in the courtroom against the nursing home industry.
According to a recent news report from East Bay Times in Northern California, parent company Mariner Health Care, and one of its chain nursing homes, Parkview Health Care Center, have been found by a jury to have committed “fraud in the commission of neglect,” according to attorney for five patients who died. The verdict against them came to $20 million.
Family members who brought the lawsuit cited problems at Parkview such as staffing shortages, supply shortages such as lines, towels, and diapers, patients going without proper wound care or bathing, in the end leaving residents sitting in filthy environments. In addition, at least four of the five deceased patients were sexually or physically assaulted by a resident, who was left free to roam about the facility. Multiple patients suffered scabies and head lice outbreaks.
Mariner Health Care reportedly is reviewing its options regarding this damage award, which may exceed their insurance coverage for this event. In addition, fraud claims are generally not covered by insurance explains nursing home neglect attorney, Jeffrey J. Downey.
In a separate lawsuit, prompted by an earlier news reports of several patients dying from Covid-19 in 2020, the state’s complaint said Mariner “siphoned off funds that were necessary for appropriate staffing,” booting residents from facilities without proper legal due process or proper discharge procedures, in an attempt to free up more beds for Medicare patients, who bring more money those on Medicaid in California. The state’s lawsuit also said Mariner falsified information reported to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, in order to boost its ratings.
The brazen attempt by Parkview and many other nursing homes to use the pandemic to protect their bottom line at the expense of the residents never ceases to amaze me, explains Downey. I wrote about this just a few weeks ago of a case in North Carolina with Consulate Health Care, that has facilities in Virginia.
If you or a loved have been injured as a result of negligence on the part of a nursing home or assisted living facility, contact the Law Office of Jeffrey J. Downey, P.C. for a free consultation. Do not delay as all negligence suits have time deadlines for filing a lawsuit.
The Law Office of Jeffrey J. Downey
8270 Greensboro Drive, Suite 810
McLean, VA 22102
Phone: 703-564-7318 or 703-564-7357