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Brookdale Senior Living Nursing Home Sample Verdicts & Lawsuits

Brookdale Senior Living is one of the nation’s largest senior care providers. In addition to independent living and assisted living provider for seniors, Brookdale senior living communities also operates Alzheimer’s and memory care facilities. In all, the chain has over 1,000 facilities across the U.S.
Brookdale Senior Living at a Glance
WebsiteBrookdale.com
Number of
Facilities
over 740
Headquarters111 Westwood Place, Suite 400
Brentwood, TN 37027
Year founded1978
Type of Care
Provided
Assisted Living
Independent Living
Memory Care
Skilled Nursing
Hospice
Continuing Care Retirement Communities
Health Care Services

In 2016, Brookdale reported nearly $5 billion in total revenue. Despite the high revenues, Brrookdale has posted several large losses recently. The company’s stock has suffered in recent years as Brookdale has struggled with a crushing debt load. This has impacted the chain’s profitability. Oftentimes, when nursing home companies are trying to increase profits, they cut back on staffing and care of the residents at their facilities.

Brookdale: A Pattern of Poor Care Emerges from Class Action Suit Against Facility

Brookdale Senior Living has been sued a number of times in recent years. Some of the fact patterns at issue in the class-action lawsuits could be indicative of negligence on the part of the facilities, or at the very minimum, significant understaffing. The chain’s homes have drawn significant negative media attention for the egregious nature of some of these alleged incidents.

Brookdale has faced several legal claims that are either class action suits or have been brought by the government. These legal cases against Brookdale are described below.

ADA Claim

This is a novel lawsuit theory that forms the basis for a class action lawsuit against Brookdale. The plaintiffs claim that an understaffing of the facility deprives them of the assistance that they need with their activities of daily life. As a result, the residents do not receive the benefits of living at the facility. The argument is that nursing home facilities are public facilities, and thus the ADA applied. The judge in California has agreed with this contention so the lawsuit has been allowed to proceed. If the plaintiffs ultimately win, it will open the floodgate for an entire new class of suits against nursing home chains.

Patient Dumping

A federal district court lawsuit was filed in December 2018 accusing Brookdale of dumping poor residents and evicting them from the nursing home. The lawsuit states that Brookdale did not follow the proper procedures that need to be adhered to in order to discharge a resident. The law requires that a nursing home make an effort to help a resident find a new place to live. One plaintiff claimed that the resident was in need of emergency room care at the time that they were discharged.

Whistleblower Lawsuit

An employee of Brookdale filed suit against the company alleging that its billing practices violated the False Claims Act. Brookdale purportedly for home health services without obtaining required face-to-face documentation and physician signatures. The federal court lawsuit also alleged that Brookdale executives pressured employees to expedite billing and ignore compliance issues.

In addition, Brookdale has also been the defendant in a number of nursing home abuse lawsuits brought by private parties for injuries and death suffered by their loved ones at Brookdale facilities. These lawsuits against Brookdale include:
  • Pressure ulcers (bed sores, pressure sores, decubitus ulcers)
  • Inadequate care of infections
  • Wrongful death due to alleged negligence
  • Sexual assaults

Lawsuit Against Brookdale for Patient Wandering

2011 – Settlement ($300,000) in Pennsylvania – A resident who was suffering from dementia left the nursing home unsupervised. The resident was found dead in the courtyard, having passed away from heatstroke. The lawsuit alleged that the facility did not recognize in time that the resident was missing, nor did they make a timely search to find him. Either one of these could have prevented the resident’s death.

2017 – Lawsuit Filed in South Carolina – A 90-year old woman suffering from dementia walked away from a Brookdale facility unsupervised and unattended. Even though the woman left the facility at midnight, staff did not discover that she was missing until seven hours later. The resident was a known elopement risk due to her penchant for wandering and sleepwalking. The woman’s body was found in a retention pond behind the facility. She had been and killed by an alligator. The lawsuit accuses the home of failing to monitor the resident and perform a timely search for her. In the wake of the publicity surrounding the lawsuit, a former employee told the media that employees at the facility are mistreated and sleep on the job.

Lawsuits Against Brookdale for Pressure Ulcers

2011 – Settlement ($64,500) in Michigan - An 85-year old resident developed pressure ulcers. The bed sore lawsuit alleged that the nursing home failed to take the appropriate measures to prevent the resident from developing these ulcers. Then, when the resident had pressure ulcers, the nursing home allegedly failed to take the appropriate actions to care for them that would have included consulting a wound care team. The resident died from  decubitus ulcers.

2018 – Lawsuit Filed in California – A man was admitted to the facility for rehabilitation while recovering from a broken hip. The man developed two large pressure sores. The resident was allegedly moved from the facility with the pressure sores because his Medicare coverage was “running low.” The resident’s health deteriorated to point where died several months later. The lawsuit claimed that the resident received only four or five baths in the 35 days that he was at the facility.

2016 Settlement ($1 million) in California – The resident was admitted to the nursing home for rehabilitation. While at the facility, she developed a pressure ulcer. The lawsuit alleged that the ulcer was not properly treated insofar as staff did nothing to alleviate the condition until it grew infected. By the time that she was discharged, the pressure ulcer had grown worse. The resident ultimately died of sepsis emanating from the pressure ulcer.

Lawsuits Against Brookdale for Sexual Assault

2018 – Media Report in Florida – There was a media report that a family claimed that a 94-year old woman was rapedat a Brookdale facility in Florida and another was injured in an attempted rape. According to the report, there was a possibility that someone broke into the facility and committed these crimes and the families indicated that they were preparing to file a lawsuit against the nursing home. A further media report stated that the family’s attorney accused the nursing home of trying to drag out the lawsuit until the woman died and making a settlement offer that was “insulting.”

2017 – Lawsuit Filed in South Carolina – A family filed suit claiming that a Brookdale facility was negligent after the resident had multiple falls. The lawsuit alleges that there was a piece of molding in the bathroom that caused a fall risk and the facility did not deal with it even though it was alerted. The resident had several falls and the facility is accused of not implementing a fall prevention plan even though the resident was now a known risk for falls.

Nursing Neglect

2016 – Lawsuit Filed in Oklahoma – A Brookdale facility took the residents on a city tour. The next day, a resident was found dead in the stairwell of the bus. The lawsuit alleges that the staff failed to account for the resident and the woman was left on the bus by herself. The lawsuit claimed that the driver of the bus was not certified and that the employees who were responsible for the woman were not fully trained.

2016 – Lawsuit Filed in Florida – The resident had Alzheimer’s. According to the lawsuit, the facility simply stopped giving her the medication for the disease. The lawsuit claims that the prescription was on file without the resident being given her medication. According to the family, the woman’s condition deteriorated after that and the resident started to lose even more function until she died.

Lawsuits Against Brookdale for Abuse

2015 – Lawsuit Filed in New Mexico – Two men, who both had dementia, were roommates in a Brookdale facility. One attacked the other and beat the man. As a result, the beaten resident suffered a fatal brain hemorrhage. The lawsuit claimed that the nursing home did not perform a proper evaluation on the assailant, which led to him being in the position to commit the attack. The lawsuit blamed some of the facility’s deficiencies on an alleged lack of staffing at the nursing home.

2017 – Media Report in South Carolina – The administrator of a nursing home was arrested for assault and battery. A resident refused to take a shower, claiming that they had already taken a shower that day, but the administrator allegedly forced the resident to take a shower. When the resident persisted, the administrator purportedly tried to grab the resident by the wrists and pull them out of their chair, causing bruising and other injuries.

Lawsuits Against Brookdale for Infections

2018 – Lawsuit Filed in Florida – A resident developed a urinary tract infection. According to the lawsuit, the resident’s medical records were then blank for 12 days after that. As a result, there was no care for the infection that was document. The family claims that treatment was not given until the man developed sepsis, despite the fact that he had developed hallucinations and had severe diarrhea. The suit claims that he was not treated until he reached the hospital, where he died.

Concerned About a Family Member at a Brookdale Nursing Home? Talk to a Lawyer Today.

If your loved one has experienced anything similar to any of the nursing home negligence lawsuits described above, you should immediately contact the attorneys at the Nursing Home Law Center to schedule a free consultation. You may be entitled to financial compensation for any harm that your loved one has suffered. We have years of experience holding large nursing home chains such as Brookdale accountable for their misdeeds. Call us today at (800) 726-9565 to hear how we can help you.

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Jonathan did a great job helping my family navigate through a lengthy lawsuit involving my grandmother's death in a nursing home. Through every step of the case, Jonathan kept my family informed of the progression of the case. Although our case eventually settled at a mediation, I really was impressed at how well prepared Jonathan was to take the case to trial. Lisa
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After I read Jonathan’s Nursing Home Blog, I decided to hire him to look into my wife’s treatment at a local nursing home. Jonathan did a great job explaining the process and the laws that apply to nursing homes. I immediately felt at ease and was glad to have him on my side. Though the lawsuit process was at times frustrating, Jonathan reassured me, particularly at my deposition. I really felt like Jonathan cared about my wife’s best interests, and I think that came across to the lawyers for the nursing home. Eric