Commercial Appeal reported on the lawsuit unsealed in federal court in Memphis alleging that Spring Gate Rehabilitation and Healthcare Center nursing home gave heavy anti-psychotic drugs to residents to keep them “docile.”  The complaint alleging Medicaid and Medicare fraud by the facility argued that the company provided “worthless” services to residents between 2012 and 2015. Now the company will pay a $500,000 settlement, and has entered into an agreement with the Department of Health and Human Services to prevent such conduct in the future, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

According to the lawsuit, Spring Gate, operated by Memphis Operator, LLC, prescribed a resident heavy doses of anti-psychotic and anti-anxiety drugs in 2013 “despite the fact that there was never a medically accepted indication justifying such heavy-duty medications.”

“After Spring Gate prescribed these psychoactive drugs, (her) condition quickly deteriorated,” according to the complaint. “Spring Gate internal reports described her as confused and unsteady, prone to staring off into space. She fell multiple times …”

Her nephew raised concerns to Spring Gate and “to his great surprise, the nursing staff openly admitted to (him) that (she) was being prescribed these drugs ‘to keep her in the bed,'” according to the lawsuit.

The Sun Sentinel reported the trauma suffered by first responders to Hollywood Hills Rehabilitation Center after Hurricane Irma. Many are still haunted by the dying nursing home residents they tried to save as they sweltered in a building with no air conditioning.  Some reported that it was cooler outside the nursing home than inside where the residents struggled to breathe in the heat.

“In a span of about three hours on Sept. 13, the Hollywood firefighter/paramedic and fellow crew members treated two critically ill residents. They had trouble breathing and registered body temperatures of 107.5 degrees. When the paramedics returned to the Hollywood Hills Rehabilitation Center for a third time that day, they found the head nurse performing CPR on a dead male patient.

The lack of care that these people were experiencing and just the conditions they were experiencing,” Wohlitka said. “In all honesty, this call is still very much haunting.”

Wohlitka and other fire-rescue workers who responded to the nursing home testified in court. This is the first time the rescue workers who responded to the nursing home where 12 ultimately died have publicly given their accounts of what they saw during those deadly pre-dawn hours.  It was part of a series of hearings this week to determine whether the nursing home should be allowed to re-open. The nursing home is challenging the state’s move to revoke its license.

After finding the dead man, the crew decided to check out other residents. Wohlitka said he noticed a woman inside her room looked “unwell” from where he stood in the hallway. He tried to figure out if she was OK, but nursing home staff insisted they had already done their round of checks.  “I attempted to enter the room and evaluate her and I was stopped by a Hollywood Hills staff member who basically told me that they had just done rounds and everybody was fine,” he testified. “I asked her, ‘Are you sure? That woman doesn’t look good’ and she said, ‘No, she just looks like that.’

“I just felt bad for that woman,” Wohlitka said. “You beat yourself up and maybe I should have told that facility member ‘no,’ but an RN is higher than a firefighter and a paramedic. We had no reason to doubt her.”

But eventually the paramedics did doubt the competency of the nursing home staff.  “I believe that they were panicked, that they were overwhelmed by the amount of patients that we were deeming critical,” Parrinello testified.


As she tried checking on patients’ vital signs, she said the head nurse told her that his staff had already done that. Parrinello testified that at this point she doubted the staff had been truthful about their assessment of patients. She said she told the head nurse: ’Well, you told me that before and now we have multiple deceased patients. So, with all due respect, I don’t trust your judgment and we’re going to check everyone ourselves.’

Ultimately, a dozen residents died from heat exposure and the medical examiner determined their deaths to be homicides.

Said Wohlitka, the firefighter/paramedic: “The uncomfortable heat alone was unbearable for myself, I won’t speak for anybody else. I was very uncomfortable inside the facility; I can only imagine what somebody who wasn’t able to go outside or get out was dealing with. I think it’s pretty evident… it just wasn’t safe.”


The Times-Standard reported another wrongful death lawsuit against a Brius Healthcare Services-owned nursing home Granada Rehabilitation and Wellness Center.  The lawsuit involves the neglect of a resident which caused a build-up of fecal matter in her digestive tract so large that it resembled an “eight-month pregnant uterus” by the time it was removed in April 2017.  The nursing home failed to monitor dementia patient Jeannette Sharp’s bowel movements as was directed in her care plan or failed to notify a physician about her lack of bowel movements.

“The operating physicians captured 3-4 liters of fecal matter from Ms. Sharp’s colon with more spilling into her abdominal cavity,” court documents state. “Because of the severity of her fecal impaction, Mrs. Sharp died shortly after the surgery.”  The lawsuit stated the buildup of fecal matter occurred over a period of months and eventually blocked the exit from Sharp’s stomach.

“Jeannette was in excruciating pain yet was not provided pain relief,” Janssen Malloy’s first amended complaint states. “No one gave Ms. Sharp an enema or checked to see why her stomach was distended.”

This is a great example of how mismanagement and “related party transactions” affect the quality of care for nursing home residents.  Granada Rehabilitation and Wellness Center, Granada’s administrator Alice Brasier, Brius Healthcare Services, Brius’ related administrative company Rockport Healthcare Services, Brius CEO Shlomo Rechnitz and other companies associated with Rechnitz are named as defendants in the lawsuit, according to court documents.


The New York Post reported that New York’s Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced a settlement with a shady real-estate group that bought city nursing homes and flipped them to developers who sought to convert them into luxury condos.  The settlement between the attorney general and The Allure Group includes measures to reform the process that led to the closure of Rivington House on the Lower East Side and CABS Nursing Home in Brooklyn — in addition to levying $2 million in penalties to the developers, Schneiderman said.

“We’re requiring Allure to open new health-care facilities in Brooklyn and the Lower East Side, and make major improvements to its Harlem facility, while also providing $1.25 million to nonprofits serving vulnerable New Yorkers.”

As part of the settlement, Allure must create a new health facility on the Lower East Side to “fill health-care gaps caused by the closure of Rivington House,” Schneiderman said.

After purchasing the CABS nursing home in Bed-Stuy in 2015, Allure allegedly forced out frail patients — leading to the untimely deaths of some residents, according to a lawsuit filed in Brooklyn Supreme Court. The court papers charge that Allure repeatedly lied during the bidding process.

The settlement with the attorney general also requires Allure to open a “new Central Brooklyn health-care facility to offset lost health care services resulting from the closing of the CABS Nursing Home.”


Virginia Santillan is suing Manning Gardens Care Center for elder abuse, neglect and violation of patient rights after the nursing home  dumped her outside her home where she had been found soiled with vomit and feces, with cockroaches crawling on her and maggots in a wound on her right foot.

According to Santillan’s lawsuit, Manning Gardens made no arrangements to make sure she would have appropriate care before calling a transport company to take her home last Nov. 7.   Under state law, nursing home residents have the right to a 30-day notice of a discharge, the date of the discharge, the location of where they are being sent, sufficient preparation and orientation at the discharge location to ensure a safe and orderly transfer and to be given information of their right to appeal the discharge and help in submitting an appeal. The lawsuit says the home failed to prepare a safe and orderly discharge plan.

In addition to the alleged illegal eviction, Santillan says the nursing home failed to provide adequate care and did not protect her from a male resident of the nursing home who she says preyed upon and stalked her, violating her privacy and dignity.

The home was cited three times this year for improper patient transfers by the California Department of Public Health, which investigates nursing home complaints.

In Santillan’s case, the state fined Manning Gardens $20,000. State records show Manning Gardens also was cited for the improper transfer of an 82-year-old man who fell and broke a hip after being sent to a facility that was not equipped to take care of his needs. And in a similar case, the state said a man was sent to a facility that could not provide the 24-hour care he required to remain safe. In each case of the two cases involving men, the state fined the nursing home $2,000.

HCR ManorCare, one of the largest U.S. nursing home operators, has a deadline tomorrow in a dispute over unpaid rent, a growing problem in an industry where eviction would put thousands of elderly out on the street.  In a lawsuit filed in August, HCR ManorCare’s landlord, Quality Care Properties Inc, said the chain owes more than $300 million in rent at its 292 skilled nursing and assisted living locations.  Many nursing home chains spun off their properties to real estate companies over the last decade to siphon money and increase profits.  ManorCare is the largest senior housing chain in financial distress but other over leveraged chains are losing profits because of mismanagement, declining reimbursements, higher management costs, and increased federal scrutiny over improper billing.

ManorCare must respond tomorrow.  Generally, a landlord can evict a tenant who fails to pay rent.

“However, because the leased properties care for approximately 30,000 patients – many of whom are elderly, vulnerable and require specialized care – abrupt eviction could cause substantial harm,” Quality Care said in its lawsuit, filed in California state court on August 17.

With more skilled nursing facilities defaulting on leases, property owners are increasingly looking to receiverships as an alternative to evictions or bankruptcy, lawyers and advisers told Reuters.

A receiver can ensure continuity of care for patients and residents while preparing the facility for a transition to a new owner or operator. The process is cheaper and more stable than bankruptcy proceedings.


The Legal Intelligencer reported on the lengthy litigation to get one resident justice. The Pennsylvania Superior Court in Scampone v. Highland Park Care Center has ordered a new trial on compensatory damages against a nursing home management services provider, as well as on punitive damages against that company and its nursing home client over neglect causing a resident’s death.

The Aug. 8 ruling in Scampone came nearly five years after a landmark state Supreme Court ruling in the case that nursing homes could be found directly liable under a theory of corporate negligence.


First, whether Grane exercised reasonable care in managing the facility was a question for the jury to determine,” Judge Mary Jane Bowes wrote in the Aug. 8 opinion. “There was sufficient proof that Grane did not manage the facility in a reasonable manner as the plaintiff adduced proof that the nurse consultants were told that there was insufficient staff to properly care for the nursing home residents. Yet, according to the plaintiff’s evidence, nothing about the staffing was done by Grane, which was charged with oversight and management of patient care.”

Bowes added that whether Grane contracted to care for and treat Madeline Scampone was “irrelevant.”  “The proper inquiry is whether Grane should have recognized that its contractual undertaking to manage and oversee the care and treatment of Madeline was necessary for her protection,” Bowes said. “It should have so recognized this fact.”

Understaffing at the facility hindered the delivery of food, water, medicine and ordered medical testing to Scampone.  “A jury could find that lack of sufficient staff was a contributing factor in the pervasive improper care and Madeline’s death,” Bowes said. “A jury question was presented as to causation by Mr. Scampone’s proof, and nonsuit was improperly granted by the trial court on this ground as well.”


The Santa Fe New Mexican reported the history of neglect at Casa Real.  Inspections and investigations paint a troubling picture of life at the nursing home: medication errors, expired food and drugs on shelves, unreported injuries and assault, poor care of wounds, inadequate safeguards against spread of antibiotic-resistant infection, nurse understaffing and more.

Problems also have occurred at the Santa Fe Care Center, a sister facility of Casa Real, according to inspection reports.  A resident at the Santa Fe Care Center was threatened with eviction last year because his family complained about his care, an inspection found. The inspector also reported seeing staff ignore a woman’s repeated pleas for help as she sat in a wheelchair near a nursing station.

The troubles at Casa Real and the Santa Fe Care Center aren’t new. State inspectors in at least the past 15 years have cited serious deficiencies in resident care. The office of the state long-term care ombudsman, which serves as an advocate for nursing home residents, reported 428 complaints against Casa Real and 105 complaints against the Santa Fe Care Center in the past two years. The top complaints dealt with discharge, administration of medications, staff attitudes and failure to deliver ordered care.

State and federal regulators have allowed the homes to continue to operate and accept Medicare and Medicaid payments, although the facilities have faced substantial fines.  Ownership of the homes, now operated by Preferred Care Partners Management Group of Plano, Texas, has changed several times.

The for-profit facilities are the only skilled-nursing homes in Santa Fe that take Medicare and Medicaid payments, meaning area residents must accept conditions at the homes if they cannot afford private-pay nursing and want to stay in Santa Fe.

Conditions at both nursing homes are the subject of a lawsuit filed against their operators by the state Attorney General’s Office, which alleges the homes received hundreds of millions of dollars from Medicare, Medicaid and private payers without delivering even basic care.

The lawsuit alleges that Preferred Care defrauded Medicaid by having insufficient staff to meet the needs of residents at its Santa Fe nursing homes, as well as at facilities in Gallup, Las Cruces, Bloomfield, Española and Lordsburg. Also named as a defendant is Cathedral Rock, former owner of the homes.

The department conducted its last standard health inspection of the nursing home in April and reported 37 deficiencies, more than three times the average number of health deficiencies found in all New Mexico nursing homes. Among the reported problems:

• Medications were not administered at proper doses or on time. One resident was supposed to be given a medication daily but didn’t receive it on 13 days in March. Also, residents didn’t receive medications because the home didn’t have them available. Expired medications were found in drug storage.

• A female resident who was supposed to receive a shower three times a week hadn’t had a shower for a week. “I got a shower cause I was begging for it,” the resident told an inspector.

• Bathroom pull cords for call lights were unreachable if a resident fell.

• Residents were not receiving the number of physical therapy sessions ordered by physicians. “This deficient practice … is likely to increase falls resulting in bruises, lacerations, broken bones, head trauma and death,” the inspector’s report said.

• Food was not served at the proper temperature, and food in refrigerators was older than its expiration date.

The West Virginia Record reported the lawsuit filed against national for-profit chain SavaSeniorCare.  The case involves a resident of Huntington Health and Rehabilitation Center which is owned by SavaSeniorCare and operated by SavaSeniorCare Administrative Services LLC; and SavaSeniorCare Consulting LLC.

Maria Webber, as personal representative of the estate of Katherine Foley, filed a complaint against Seventeenth Street Associates LLC, doing business as Huntington Health and Rehabilitation Center; SavaSeniorCare Administrative Services LLC; and SavaSeniorCare Consulting LLC alleging negligence, wrongful death and other counts.

 According to the complaint, Foley was a resident from Sept. 3 to Sept. 24, 2016. The plaintiff alleges that during her short stay there, Foley suffered from avoidable pressure ulcers, infections and dehydration causing her wrongful death on on May 7, 2017.

The plaintiff contends that Defendants neglected Foley including failing to monitor Foley’s condition and failing to timely provide the services to prevent her ailments.


The Madison-St. Clair Record reported the lawsuit filed against Integrity Healthcare of Alton; General Medicine, PC or in the alternative General Medicine of Illinois Physicians, PC; Senior  Healthcare Management, LLC; and Steve Blisco, alleging the defendants violated the Nursing Home Refort Act of 1987.

Jerome Bates, as administrator of the estate of Judith Bates, filed a complaint alleging neglect and failure to properly care for the decedent. On June 24, 2015, Judith Bates was a resident at the defendant’s nursing home and developed a urinary tract infection.  Judith Bates was also dehydrated, suffered from protein calorie malnutrition, had lost weight, suffered from urinary incontinence, could no longer eat and complained of abdominal pain. However, the plaintiff alleges no doctor was notified of her condition. The next day, Judith Bates died.

The plaintiff alleges the defendants failed to formulate and update a plan of care regarding hydration, weight loss, nutrition and diet, urinary incontinence and urinary tract infections and failed to provide appropriate hygiene and preventative measures to prevent recurrent urinary tract infections.