Sample Verdicts & Lawsuits Against Golden Living Nursing Home

Golden Living has been plagued by mismanagement and healthcare deficiencies at many of its nationwide located. The chain is under a great deal of legal strain as the federal government, state attorneys general and private plaintiffs have all initiated legal action against it in recent years. The nursing home has yielded control over some of its locations as it has struggled.

This chain is one of the largest ones in the country. In fiscal year 2017, it had approximately $3 billion in revenue. It operates approximately 300 nursing homes. Golden Living’s website is https://www.goldenlivingcenters.com/.

Golden Living is yet another nursing home chain whose quality of care markedly declined after it was taken over by a private equity firm. Golden Living was acquired by Fillmore Equity Partners in a leveraged buyout in 2006. These transactions rely on debt to finance the transaction. Often, when this happens, the owners will either sell or trim pieces of the business in order to finance the debt. Private equity companies have also been known to trim services, reducing already short staffs in the name of maximizing profits for their investors. Many of the largest nursing home chains were acquired in the last private equity boom and are experiencing similar issues. Golden Living has numerous companies that operate nursing homes in its name.

In some instances, the chain yielded the operating licenses of some of its homes under pressure, but still continues to own the land under the nursing homes and charge rent. Many nursing homes, especially those owned by private equity, engage in related party transactions. In Golden Living’s case, this has resulted in financial distress for some of the homes. The chain had to surrender seven homes in Pennsylvania after the subsidiary that was operating the homes ran out of money.

Sample Lawsuits Against Goiden Living

This chain was sued by the federal government for a False Claims Act violation. The government alleged that the chain filed false claims for Medicare reimbursement after providing “inadequate and worthless wound care services” to residents. The nature of the False Claims Act violation was the substandard care provided by the facility. Golden Living has also faced numerous other False Claims Act suits due to either fraudulent billing allegations or substandard care. As described below, the chain is also facing legal pressure from the State of Pennsylvania as well as other states due to the level of care at the facility.

Golden Living has faced a variety of lawsuits from private plaintiffs. These lawsuits have generally alleged some type of deficiency in care or negligence on the part of the nursing home. Many of these have been brought by the families of the residents as the residents died as a result from the action that is described as negligent. Some of the areas of lawsuit include:

Abuse

Neglect (Lawsuit Filed ) in California – A 91-year resident died after being diagnosed with scabies. The woman was admitted to the facility after suffering a stroke. The lawsuit allege that the facility neglected her care and she developed numerous infections as a result.

Lawsuit filed in South Dakota – A resident sued the nursing home alleging that an employee of the home took a nude picture of the resident and posted it online to social media. The employee at issue was arrested for the incident and charged with a misdemeanor for secretly recording the body of a person. The employee served three days in prison for the incident. This incident was detailed in a government inspection report.

Staffing and Inadequate Care

Settlement ($72 million) in Arkansas – A group of 12 former residents sued the nursing home chain under Arkansas state law for its chronic understaffing of its nursing homes. The nursing home was alleged to have staffing levels that failed to comply with Arkansas state laws and regulations and was far below the other nursing homes located in the state. The nursing homes’ owners were alleged to have known of these staffing issues, but nevertheless maintained the staffing levels where they were. This resulted in widespread provision of inadequate care at these facilities. This suit was a class action lawsuit brought on behalf of all residents of Golden Living’s facilities in Arkansas. This shows that nursing homes that do not follow regulations can successfully be sued for their failures.

Pennsylvania State Lawsuit – The State of Pennsylvania filed suit against Golden Living for inadequate and slipshod care afforded by the chain’s 25 homes in Pennsylvania. The state is seeking financial penalties from the company for violations of the Pennsylvania Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law. A Pennsylvania court ruled that the company conducted false advertising regarding the care at its homes. In addition to those impacted by the care, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court held that the state could seek restitution from the nursing home as well. This is an important arsenal for states as they seek to recover for subpar care provided by nursing homes.

Inadequate Care

Settlement ($88,000) in Pennsylvania – Staff allegedly gave resident solid foods when they were not able to eat them. As a result, the resident developed aspiration pneumonia and died. The lawsuit claimed that there were physician’s orders for staff to perform a respiratory assessment and to follow aspiration precautions and the nursing home did not do so.

Negligence

Jury Verdict ($2.5 million) in Alabama – A 62-year old man was committed to the care of the facility after he suffered from two strokes. The resident had a catheter, but the facility allegedly failed to secure the patient’s catheter. Combined with an alleged improper technique used in turning the patient, it ultimately led to the resident’s death. The plaintiff’s family sued the nursing home for negligence.

Pressure Sores (Lawsuit Filed) in California – A 63 year-old woman was admitted to a Golden Living facility. The resident developed numerous Stage IV pressure ulcers. In addition, the resident also contracted a urinary tract infection and had multiple falls. The resident has alleged that these injuries were result of inadequate care provided by the nursing home. The lawsuit claims that the facility tried to retaliate against the resident by discharging her after she cooperated with a state investigation into her treatment. The lawsuit claims that the plaintiff had to permanently retire from working after the long-term injuries she sustained while being treated at the nursing home.

Settlement ($220,000) in Pennsylvania – The resident’s family sued the nursing home for wrongful death. The suit alleged that the resident was asphyxiated by the side rail of their bed. The lawsuit claimed that the bed was not properly set up and the resident’s call alarm did not go off when he was trapped in the aide rail of the bed. According to the family, there should not have been a gap between the bed frame and the bed rail, which is where the resident’s head and neck were trapped.

Falls

Lawsuit filed in North Carolina – An elderly woman was admitted to the facility and fell several times after receiving allegedly inadequate supervision. The lawsuit claims that the facility was alerted when the resident moved in that she was a risk for falls. The woman then fell and claims that she received no assistance from staff after falling. The complaint alleged that the staff did not even take an x-ray for 10 days. In the meantime, the woman suffered from intense pain. When the x-ray was taken, it revealed that the resident had a broken hip.

Settlement ($122,500) in Pennsylvania – A woman fell while being moved at a nursing home. Three days after the fall, she was diagnosed with a femur fracture after the initial x-rays were read as not involving a fracture. The woman’s health declined following the incident and she deteriorated over the next year. This included suffering a heart attack. Her weakened health ultimately caused her death. The nursing home was alleged to be negligent both in the incident that led to the fall as well as the medical care after the fall.

Pressure Sores

Jury Verdict ($2.2 million) in Arkansas – Beverly Healthcare, which was the predecessor to Golden, was found liable by a jury for the death of a man who had developed severe pressure sores and was suffering from malnutrition. The plaintiffs introduced evidence of financial misbehavior on the part of the parent company, which included overpaying top executives with bonuses.

Concerned About a Family Member in a Golden Living Nursing Home?

The attorneys at the Nursing Home Law Center have numerous years of experience helping families take legal action against nursing homes such as the ones run by Golden Living. We are well-versed in the issues that formed the basis of the lawsuits described above and have gone up against the nursing homes’ attorneys on numerous occasions. Call us today at (800) 726-9565 to find out how we can bring our experience to bear to help you and your family. When you retain us, it is on a contingency basis, meaning that you owe us nothing unless you are able to recover financially.

Client Reviews
★★★★★
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
★★★★★
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