A major class-action lawsuit alleging nursing home abuse and neglect is drawing to a close this week in California. The suit challenges the care provided by one of the nation’s largest nursing home chains, Skilled HealthCare Group, Inc., a group that owns and operates 22 nursing homes in several states. As many as 32,000 patients may have suffered as a resulf of the nursing home group’s patterns of negligence.
Skilled HealthCare is alleged to have provided inadequate staffing levels at several of their facilities over a six year period. Evidence has indicated that Skilled HealthCare fell short of the 3.2 hours of direct resident care per day mandated by state law. That care is supposed to include the vital services of registered nurses, licensed vocational nurses, and certified nursing assistants. The result of those years of neglect meant that residents were forced to sit in soiled bed sheets for days, walk around with catheters dragging on the ground, and have pressure wounds left untreated. The total amount of suffering by the residents at those facilities will likely never be fully known.
The case is a striking reminder of how widespread nursing home abuse remains across the country and the need to keep a vigilant eye on the care of all residents of these facilities. Elder neglect and abuse abounds when these facilities focus more on squeezing the budget instead of providing the legally mandated care that residents and taxpayers are entitled. All too often these abuses go unreported and the neglect continues. A District Attorney involved in the Skilled HealthCare class-action suit acknowledged that this nursing home abuse was a “long-term problem” and that there was “overwhelming evidence that the law has been broken.”
The Chicago nursing home lawyers at Levin & Perconti have fought similar elder abuse battles, protecting residents from all forms of nursing home neglect. They will remain even more vigilant in the coming months, as Illinois Governor Pat Quinn moves to sign a bill that will increase the required care per resident at Illinois facilities to 3.8 hours a day. It is vital that you contact an elder abuse attorney if you suspect any violation to ensure these laws are followed.
To learn more about this nursing home abuse lawsuit, please click the link.