Articles Posted in Manorcare Abuse and Neglect

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It looks like trouble for HCR ManorCare. The nursing home giant, the country’s second largest chain, was recently abandoned by the private equity firm that has owned the company for the last 10 years. The firm, Washington, D.C.-based Carlyle Group, had already sold off nearly all of the real estate associated with ManorCare in 2011.

Rumors of problems at ManorCare began over 2 years ago when the U.S. Justice Department filed a lawsuit against the chain for billing Medicare for ‘medically unreasonable and unnecessary services.’ While the chain has attempted to blame the fraudulent charges on a greedy few rather than on a corporate moneymaking scheme, that hasn’t prevented many high level ManorCare executives from leaving the company. Unnamed sources within ManorCare have recently revealed that the company owes close to $400 million to investors for senior loans. Senior loans are particularly important because borrowers are legally obligated to repay this type of debt to a lender before paying any other creditors. In light of these revelations, several vendors have recently abandoned relationships with ManorCare, a sign that the chain’s financial issues are leading to a bankruptcy filing and potential closure of facilities.

ManorCare Well Known but for Many of the Wrong Reasons

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A lawsuit was recently settled in a nursing home neglect case again HCR Manor Care. As mentioned in a new WV Records story, the underlying suit was filed in early February 2012 by the administrator of the estate of a former resident at a HCR Manor Care facility. The suit claimed that the four-year resident of the facility suffered neglect which resulted in serious injuries, pain, suffering, and ultimately, her death. The 85-year old allegedly had pressure sores develop, infections, and various other physical and mental problems resulting from lackluster care. Allegations were also made about a nursing home fall, with premises liability claims included in the lawsuit. The suit was eventually settled by the family for a confidential amount.

$90 Million Case Still Going

One of the most high-profile nursing home neglect cases in recent memory also involved the nursing home chain HCR Manor Care. What made the case so unique and headline-grabbing was the size of the verdict against the company after a jury heard evidence about systematic problems in care against the chain–$90 million.

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This week our Chicago nursing home neglect attorneys at Levin & Perconti announced the conclusion of two separate Illinois nursing home neglect cases against ManorCare at South Holland. Both lawsuits were settled with the facility without the need to go to trial-the latest being approved by the judge in the case just last week. The first settlement was for $1 million while the facility will pay the second family $750,000 for their actions.

Our Illinois nursing home attorneys Steven M. Levin, Margaret P. Battersby, and Tina Dave represented the families in these cases. In both cases the residents developed serious pressure sores which should have been prevented. The pressure sores caused the vulnerable seniors’ health conditions to deteriorate quickly and led to untold suffering for the residents. As Attorney Levin explained, “the victims’ families filed lawsuits to draw attention to the problems at Manor Care South Holland, with the hopes of preventing this from happening to future residents. Our clients’ cases illustrate that there were serious systematic issues at the facility.”

The first case involved an 80-year-old resident who developed several infected stage IV pressure sores during her five month stay at the facility. In this case the victim ultimately died from complications of those sores. Stage IV represents the most serious versions of these ulcers. These sores are virtually always preventable if proper care is provided to seniors who are at risk of developing them. The second Manorcare nursing home settlement was reached with the family of an 82-year-old resident. The victim was only planning to stay at the facility for rehabilitation purposes and then returning home. Unfortunately, that plan did not hold true. Instead, during her six week stay at the home, the victim developed a necrotic State IV pressure sore that required surgery and did not fully heal for two years. In addition, she was malnourished and became immobile while living in the nursing home. The family moved her out of the home when they discovered the mistreatment, but she never fully recovered from the injuries which developed at the facility.

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This week our Illinois nursing home attorney Susan Novosad officially submitted a complaint in a new Illinois nursing home neglect lawsuit against ManorCare of Westmont. The case stems from the death of a former resident at the facility. The victim was in her late 80s when she entered the facility in November of 2009; she died less than a year later. Unfortunately, the record indicates that in her time at the facility the resident did not receive the level of care to which she was entitled under Illinois law. This mistreatment ultimately helped precipitate the woman’s death.

Attorney Novosad filed the complaint this week against the facility and its parent company alleging statutory violations of the Illinois Nursing Home Care Act as well as common law negligence and wrongful death claims. The neglect was evidenced most clearly by the fact that the resident developed multiple pressure sores during her time at the ManorCare nursing home. Of course, one of the main duties owed to resident of a long-term facility is the prevention of these sores. As blog readers are well aware, pressure sores are virtually always preventable skin problems. They develop only when the care provided to residents is inadequate.

In the case of this latest victim, she should have been identified as being at high risk for pressure sore development upon her admission to the facility. Knowing that she was likely to develop these painful, potentially-deadly conditions, the staff members at the facility should have enacted a protocol to ensure that she did not develop the problem. Sadly, the facility failed in that duty. As a result the victim developed multiple pressure ulcers which eventually became infected.

The injuries that the resident suffered as a result of this Illinois nursing home neglect were severe. Her overall physical, mental, and psychosocial well-being deteriorated following the problems. The multiple pressure sores were particularly painful-one of them included a stage IV sacral decubitus ulcer. The sores became infected, which eventually contributed to her death eleven months after she arrived at the home.

The common law claims against the facility similarly allege that the basic duty of care owed to the resident was breached in this case. The victim suffered a variety of injuries as a result of her not receiving the level of nursing home care to which she was reasonably entitled. That includes pain and suffering, disability, disfigurement, medical expenses, and other losses. According to the state’s survival statute, the special administrator of the victim’s estate is entitled to receive compensation for those losses which are to be added to the woman’s estate.
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Today our Chicago nursing home negligence lawyers Michael F. Bonamarte, IV and Margaret P. Battersby helped a family obtain fairness when the judge approved and ordered a $500,000 nursing home negligence settlement. Our client had suffered a stroke and was hospitalized for a brief period of time. After hospitalization, she was admitted to the nursing home for rehabilitation. After fourteen days of rehabilitation, she returned home.

When our client was admitted to the ManorCare at Palos Heights East, she had a Stage I pressure ulcer. Pressure ulcers are injuries to the skin and tissue that are caused by prolonged pressure on the body. Pressure ulcers are categorized into four different stages, with Stage I indicating an area of redness and Stage IV indicating damage to the muscle and bone.

Although the nursing home knew that our client was at risk for pressure ulcers, they did not develop a plan of care for her pressure ulcer until the eleventh day of her fourteen day stay. The nursing home did not treat her condition with pressure reliving techniques such as repositioning, turning, or a pressure reduction mattress. Instead, the nursing home allowed our client’s Stage I pressure ulcer to progress into a Stage IV pressure ulcer. As her pressure ulcer worsened, her skin broke and exposed the wound to contaminants. Unfortunately for our client the nursing home neglected to protect the wound, causing the wound to become infected and necrotic.

Suspecting that the nursing home neglected our client, her family called the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH). IDPH investigated ManorCare at Palos Heights and found that the nursing home failed to provide appropriate care and treatment of our client’s pressure ulcer. Furthermore, the IDPH cited the nursing home for failing to provide our client timely medical treatment.

As a result of the nursing home’s neglect, our client’s pressure ulcer was never able to heal. She suffered from the painful pressure ulcer until her death about ten months after she left the nursing home. Although the pressure ulcer lawsuit settlement can never make-up for our client’s family’s loss, it will help to cover the extensive financial burden of medical and funeral expenses.
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Bloomberg News reported today on big news in the real estate world involving healthcare facilities and nursing homes. The country’s largest investment trust in healthcare real estate-HCP, Inc.-announced plans to buy 338 properties from Carlyle Group’s HCR ManorCare, Inc.

The REIT deal (real estate investment trust) is the largest in years, with the total sale worth $6.1 billion. That includes $3.5 billion in cash, $1.7 billion reinvested from existing debt, and $852 million in stock.

Many Illinois families are familiar with the sellers who operate hundreds of nursing homes under the ManorCare name. The 338 properties sold are all post-acute, nursing, and assisted-living facilities. The company operates properties in 30 states, including here in Illinois.

HCR ManorCare will continue to run the facilities under a long-term lease. The rents on the facilities will increase each year under the deal, and the buying company reserves an option of obtaining a 9.9% stake in the company.

An analyst explained that the CEO of HCP Inc. “has long indicated an interest in investing in premier nursing-home assets, and ManorCare represents such an operator.”
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According to the Chicago Tribune, a jury recently handed down a verdict against a nursing home in a lawsuit filed following a tragic death of one of its residents.

Following the trial a jury ordered Friendship ManorCare of Grinell to pay $546,000 to the estate of a former resident. In June of last year the 89-year old victim was being transported to a nearby hospital to have tests run. He was put on a gurney and wheeled toward an ambulance waiting outside the nursing home. However, the employees were not very careful when moving the gurney. They failed to notice the quality of the sidewalk that they were pushing the man upon. Eventually one of the gurney wheels dropped into a crack on the sidewalk. This caused the wheeled bed to flip over and the man to come crashing onto the sidewalk.

The nursing home victim’s head struck the pavement hard in this fall. He slipped into a coma and died shortly after.
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Despite Carlyle Group’s completion of the Manor Care buyout, the union that represents nursing home employees in Florida is suing, hoping to block the takeover. Manor Care, a chain of nursing homes, was recently bought by a private equity firm, Carlyle Group, for $6.3 billion. The transfer was completed the day after rulings that held up the buyout were dissolved in West Virginia and Michigan. The union, SEIU Healthcare Florida, has been fighting the takeover. There are 29 Manor Care facilities in Florida housing 3700 residents.

The lawsuit was brought about on the grounds that the Carlyle Groups license application was incomplete. Another plaintiff listed in the lawsuit is the son of a Manor Care resident. He recently stated, “I want to make sure Carlyle’s takeover won’t harm my mother’s care.” All of the parties are reviewing the lawsuit in this controversial acquisition.

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A national private investment firm’s purchase of a nursing home chain is being unnecessarily delayed in West Virginia by a union that’s putting politics before patients, company executives involved in the proposed sale said Thursday.

The Carlyle Group, a corporate buyout firm, plans to acquire HCR Manor Care, the nation’s largest nursing home chain, as part of a $6.3 billion deal.

Carlyle and Manor Care executives said the Service Employees International Union’s “coordinated campaign” to delay the sale is part of a national organizing effort to boost membership and unionize more nursing homes. Manor Care operates seven Heartland nursing homes in West Virginia.

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In a decision that marks a new era in nursing-home ownership in Wisconsin, a license was approved Thursday to a private equity company to run eight Manorcare facilities statewide.

A spokeswoman for the state Department of Health and Family Services said the one-year probationary license will take effect after Manor Care notifies the department that its ownership transfer deal has closed with Carlyle Group, one of the nation’s largest private equity companies.

Rick Rump, assistant vice president of corporate communications for Manor Care headquarters in Toledo, Ohio, said he expects the transaction to be closed by the end of the year. The transaction includes similar pending buyouts in other states.