The Press Democrat reported the lawsuit against Oakmont Senior Living chain founded by Sonoma County developer Bill Gallaher, accusing his company of fraudulent practices that allegedly deprived residents of needed care and exposed them to risk of injury. Oakmont Senior Living, a privately held company based in Windsor and founded by Gallaher in 1997, operates 23 senior living facilities in California.
Fees at the facilities — which ran as high as $10,000 a month per resident — were based on “budgets driven primarily by desired profit margins” rather than assessments of its residents’ individual needs, the suit claimed.
The lawsuit alleges residents were found on the ground, left to sit in their own waste and at least one suffered an unexplained injury at the company’s assisted living facilities. The Oakmont Senior Living facilities were understaffed and residents age 65 and older “run the continuing risk of not having their care needs met and of suffering frustration, pain, discomfort, humiliation and/or injury from inadequate care and supervision.”The lawsuit alleged that Oakmont violated the Consumer Legal Remedies Act, committed elder financial abuse and engaged in “unlawful, unfair and fraudulent” business practices. The 43-page complaint did not specify the amount of financial damages it was seeking. If a judge certifies it as a class action case, the number of plaintiffs could expand to thousands and the potential penalties against Oakmont could be in millions of dollars, said Kathryn Stebner, a San Francisco attorney who filed the lawsuit with nine other attorneys.The company “actively conceals from residents, prospective residents, and their family members the true facts about its corporate policy and practice of prioritizing profit over resident care,” it said.