Sample Verdicts & Lawsuits Against Genesis HealthCare Nursing Home
Genesis Health is the largest nursing home operator in the country in terms of number of facilities operated. As of January 2017, the company had approximately 500 nursing homes in the chain spread across 34 states. The company had roughly 80,000 employees.
Genesis was created through a series of mergers and complex financial transactions. The company began in 1985, when the company’s two founders purchased nine nursing homes. The company grew dramatically over the next 15 years to become a multi-billion dollar corporation. However, in 1999, the company filed for its first bankruptcy in the wake of cuts to the Medicare program that impacted its revenue. Six years after emerging from Chapter 11, Genesis was taken private in 2007. Since many nursing homes companies have found that a way to “unlock” value involves leveraging their real estate, Genesis sold all of the real estate under its nursing homes in 2011. This means that the nursing home must pay rent to its new landlord. Genesis purchased Sun Healthcare in 2012 to continue its expansion. The company then merged with Skilled Healthcare Group Inc. in 2015. Genesis is based in Kennett Square, PA and is a publicly traded corporation and has roughly $5 billion in annual revenues. Genesis’ website is found at http://www.genesishcc.com/.
Genesis has been in a variety of different legal and regulatory trouble during its existence. In 2017, Genesis settled six different federal lawsuits related to its billings by paying the government nearly $54 million. The government had accused Genesis of fraudulent billing in submitting false claims for unnecessary services or grossly substandard nursing care. Some of this settlement involved actions taken by Sun Healthcare and Skilled Healthcare Group. Genesis assumed liability for their actions when it bought the companies. This suit was brought by several whistleblowers who received a portion of the payment that Genesis had to make to the federal government.Lawsuits Brought Against Genesis Nursing Homes
Genesis has frequently been the defendant in lawsuits brought by plaintiffs whose family members have been injured while a resident at their facilities. When a nursing home is sued, it often results in a settlement when the nursing home realizes that it can control its risk through payment of money. When a defendant settles a lawsuit, it does so with the thought process that fighting the allegations can ultimately cost it more money than the settlement. Alternatively, the nursing home corporation can defend itself and lose, resulting in a jury verdict.
Nursing homes can be sued under a variety of different circumstances. The nursing home owes a certain duty of care to your loved one. This attaches to both the care that they give their residents as well as the medical care that residents receive at the home. If either of these are substandard in a way that causes any injury or harm to your loved one, the nursing home can be liable to pay your family compensation.
Below are some of the common areas where nursing homes have faced legal liability as well as some of the verdicts against Genesis and the settlements into which it entered. Some of the common areas of suit include:
- Abuse and mistreatment
- Deficient medical care
- Wrongful death from falls
Jury Verdict ($800,000) in California - The plaintiffs had alleged neglect so severe that it ultimately led to the decedent’s death. The facility failed to provide the resident with any care such that the resident developed a foul-smelling discharge from his tracheostomy and had maggot infestations at various sites in his body. The infestations were so severe that the resident’s breathing became blocked, ultimately causing his death. Ultimately, the neglect was so grave that it was considered to be abuse. The verdict included $300,000 in punitive damages given the egregiousness of the lack of care for the plaintiff.
Jury Verdict ($2.5 million) in New Mexico – The plaintiff had a pacemaker inserted and was at the facility to recover. The wound was painful and was oozing and red. The woman informed her family and the staff at the home of the issues that she was having, yet nothing was done to treat the wound from her surgery. The nursing home’s doctor never looked at the resident’s incision. The plaintiff was discharged from the facility and died 11 days later from a blood infection and various other ailments that were caused by the infection at the site of the wound.
Jury Verdict ($15.65 million) in North Carolina – The plaintiff’s family brought suit against the nursing home when their relative’s head became wedged between the mattress of her bed and its bed rails. This caused the accidental strangulation of the resident. The family contended that the facility’s staff failed to adequately monitor the resident, who was incapacitated from a stroke. In addition, the nursing home was alleged to have negligently constructed the decedent’s bed such that it became a hazard. The plaintiff’s received a large award, most of which was for pain and suffering.Falls
Settlement ($215,000) in Pennsylvania – The plaintiff suffered multiple falls. The injuries were severe enough that it required the removal of his prosthetic hip. The nursing home was alleged to have not implemented proper fall prevention measures. Usually, after each time the resident has fallen, the nursing home has an obligation to update the fall prevention plan in order to prevent subsequent falls. The nursing home must also provide an environment that is free from accident hazards.Inadequate Medical Care
Settlement ($275,000) in Pennsylvania – A resident was operating his wheelchair and was going through a door. In the process, the resident’s wheelchair careened out of control and the resident has a violent crash in the parking lot. The resident died from his injuries. The family sued for a lack of supervision since the resident lay in the parking lot for some time before he was discovered. While the resident was laying in the parking lot severely injured, he suffered a heart attack which ultimately led to his death. Timely medical care could have saved the resident’s life.
Jury Verdict ($625,000) – Genesis was one of the facilities where the decedent resided after he already suffered injury due to deficient pressure wound care at another nursing home. While under the care of this facility, the resident’s condition worsened. Even though he was already frail, his pressure wounds grew worse and he also contracted pneumonia and suffered from falls. Genesis was apportioned just over one third of the total jury verdict for its failures to care for the plaintiff and prevent further worsening of his condition.Infection
Settlement ($300,000) in New Jersey – The plaintiff’s family alleged that the resident did not receive proper wound care while at the facility. The resident’s physician’s orders called for a certain number of wound changing during a period of time, and the facility missed numerous bandage changes, resulting in an infection for the plaintiff. Although the plaintiff ultimately died from cancer, the family was still entitled to a recovery for the infection.
Jury Verdict ($42.75 million) in Kentucky – A 92-year old man was brought to a nursing home. Within nine days of his arrival, he had developed multiple infections and bedsores. The man was taken to a hospital where he died. The jury reacted viscerally to the details of the man’s care at the facility and hit the nursing home with $40 million in punitive damages.Pressure Ulcers
Settlement ($800,000) in Pennsylvania – This was an action brought by the plaintiff’s estate against the nursing home. The plaintiff developed multiple issues in part due to an alleged lack of care. One of these issues was pressure ulcers. The facility was alleged to have not ordered timely medical care for the plaintiff and did not track the medical care that was given. The plaintiff also experience severe weight loss, sepsis and renal failure.
Settlement ($200,000) in Pennsylvania – A resident had untreated pressure sores that resulted in sepsis. This ultimately led to the resident’s death. The family claimed that the nursing home should have repositioned the resident to avoid the pressure sores, and then when there was a skin breakdown, should have staged the pressure ulcers and treated them. This would have involved wound care had the facility done so.Concerned About a Loved One in a Genesis Nursing Home?
If your loved one has been a resident at any Genesis Healthcare facility and has suffered any type of injury, you should contact an attorney to discuss the merits of a possible legal case against the nursing home. As you can see, Genesis has experienced many changes over the years and sometimes, these nursing homes have cut back on the necessary staffing in the name of profits. Understaffed facilities are a prime cause of some of the issues that you see described above that led to large verdicts against the nursing homes or other settlements. The attorneys at the Nursing Home Law Center can help you if you need to take on a nursing home chain in court. Call us today at (800) 726-9565 to learn how we can help your family.