Sample Verdicts & Lawsuits Against Life Care Center Nursing Homes
Life Care Center of America is the nation’s largest privately held nursing home chain. According to Forbes Magazine, it is #142 on the list of the largest privately held companies in the country. The chain boasts annual revenue of $3.1 billion. Life Care Centers manages over 200 nursing homes in 28 different states and employs over 40,000 people. The company was founded in 1970 by Forrest Preston. Life Care Centers is headquartered in Tennessee and its website is www.lcca.com
Since Life Care Centers is privately owned, it has not had the same issues that other nursing homes have had, namely that private equity companies purchase them and then enter into a series of related party transactions that drain the nursing homes of their assets. However, Life Care Center has experienced other issues in care over the years as evidenced by a large amount of lawsuits against it and violations of regulations.Past Episodes of Safety Violations at Life Care Centers
Life Care Center facilities have been fined numerous times by Medicare. They have paid approximately $2 million in fines since 2000 for 44 separate violations. This included a $444,000 fine assessed to one of its locations in 2016. While not all Life Care Center homes receives poor ratings from Medicare, the chain has a meaningful proportion of its nursing homes that have received the one-star rating from Medicare.
The chain also settled a False Claims Act lawsuit with the federal government in 2016. Life Care Centers engaged in a scheme where it assigned the highest level of therapy needs to as many residents as possible. Life Care Centers did this in order to receive the most amount of reimbursements from Tricare and Medicare that is possibly could. This meant that many residents received unnecessary therapies simply so Life Care Center could be paid more money by the federal government. The nursing homes also kept residents in therapeutic care for a longer time than was necessary in order to receive more reimbursements.Sample Lawsuits Against Life Care Center
Life Care Centers has face lawsuits from private plaintiffs in most of the states in which it operates. Some of these lawsuits have resulted in either a settlement or a jury verdict against the company. The lawsuits that have resulted in financial compensation for the plaintiffs largely involved infections and falls. Specifically, there were several instances in which the plaintiffs developed pressure ulcers and the nursing home failed to treat them. This resulted in serious infections that caused the resident’s death. There have been other lawsuits against Life Care Centers for improperly prescribing medications or negligently inserting feeding tubes.Lawsuits Against Life Care Centers for Pressure Ulcers
2006 – Jury Verdict ($1.5 million) in Arizona – The resident was admitted to the nursing home after being treated for a broken hip. The lawsuit accused the nursing home of abuse through a complete failure to provide care for the decedent. The nursing home allegedly failed to care for the resident’s hygiene and prevent and treat pressure ulcers. As a result of the worsening pressure ulcers, the resident was forced to undergo flap surgery. The lawsuit alleged that the nursing home was understaffed and the staff that it did have was not trained properly.
2005 – Jury Verdict ($365,000) in Arizona – The resident was suffering from end stage multiple sclerosis and also had a susceptibility to pressure ulcers. The resident developed a Stage IV pressure ulcer. The lawsuit alleged that the facility did not properly treat the pressure ulcer, which allowed for an infection to develop in the open wound. The nursing home was also alleged to have not properly fed the resident, resulting in her malnutrition. The resident eventually died from the infection.Lawsuits Against Life Care for Infections
2003 – Settlement ($315,000) in Missouri – The resident had swallowing and gastronomical problems so the nursing home inserted a tube to help with feeding and medication. The tube came out of the patient’s body and the attending nurses re-inserted the tube into the resident’s body. The nurses allegedly did not check to make sure that the tube was re-inserted properly even though the resident complained of immediate pain when the tube was being replaced. However, the tube was not properly replaced and the resident became agitated. Instead of checking the tube, the resident was given an anti-psychotic medication and a feeding solution. This solution went into the abdominal cavity and the resident developed sever sepsis and soon died.
2016 – Jury Verdict ($441,854) in Florida – The resident was admitted to the nursing home after surgery. The lawsuit contended that the nursing home did not properly monitor, assess and treat the resident’s surgical incision. As a result, the resident developed a C. Diff infection and required additional multiple surgeries. The plaintiffs alleged that the facility failed to assess the surgical incision for readiness of removal of surgical staples and did not obtain orders for removal of abdominal incision staples from the surgeon. The nursing home was also alleged not to have provided the appropriate wound care for the resident.Lawsuits Against Life Care for Falls
2005 – Settlement (Confidential) in Texas – The resident was being transferred from their chair. Physician’s orders were that any transfer for the resident should be done by two staff members while using a Hoyer lift. One CNA was performing the transfer on their own without the use of the Hoyer lift. When the resident was being transferred, her leg bent underneath her, causing her leg to fracture. The CAN received a written warning from the nursing home for their actions.
2014 – Jury Verdict ($1,000,000) in Florida – The nursing home was found by a jury to have been responsible for a fall that the resident suffered, causing her prior hip surgery to fail and necessitating an additional surgery. The resident fell from her low wheelchair to the floor. The resident’s son, who brought the lawsuit, claimed that his mother was not provided adequate and appropriate therapeutic and rehabilitative care since the facility did not immediately order an x-ray after the fall and treat her hip injury.
2004 – Settlement ($175,000) in South Carolina – The resident alleged that they were left unsupervised while inside of a bathroom. The resident fell and suffered a subdural hematoma. The lawsuit alleged that the nursing home was negligent in its care for the resident and failed to uphold the standard of care.Lawsuits Against Life Care for Substandard Medical Care
1998 – Jury Verdict ($92,000) in Texas – The physicians at the nursing home prescribed a certain medication to the resident, notwithstanding the fact that the physician knew about two prior episodes of toxicity. The resident developed a severe reaction to the drug with included severe weight loss and the inability to be aroused. Even though the physician was informed of the resident’s toxic level, the doctor still did not stop the medication. The resident was hospitalized for the toxicity. Even after the resident was discharged from the hospital and returned to the nursing home, he was still administered this same medication for three days. He was taken back to the hospital where he died.
2003 Settlement ($2,000,000) in South Carolina – A resident suffered unspecified injuries while at a Life Care facility. The resident died from her injuries. Her family alleged that the nursing home did not provide adequate supervision of its staff and failed to hire and train its staff appropriately. In addition, the lawsuit alleged that the nursing home did not follow the appropriate standard of care.
2005 Settlement ($300,000) in South Carolina – The resident was released from a hospital into the care of a nursing home. While being treated at the home, the resident suffered a below-knee amputation and decubitus ulcers. The lawsuit claimed that the resident’s condition was due to a failure to properly care for the resident and follow physician's orders.Lawsuit Against Life Care for Abuse
2006 – Jury Verdict ($130,000) in Tennessee – One resident struck another resident when they bent down to pick up a piece of paper. The resident who was hit fell and broke her hip. This caused a decline in her condition and, four months later, she died of pneumonia. Life Care was sued for being negligent in admitting the resident who was the attacker given that he had a history of mental illness. Although Life Care claimed that another party was the negligent one here, the jury still reached a verdict against Life Care.Concerned About a Family Member at a Life Care Center Nursing Home?
Even though a nursing home may be owned by a large chain with a seemingly unlimited budget for lawyers, as you can see from the above cases, it is possible to take a nursing home to court and either receive a settlement or money from a jury award. The Nursing Home Law Center has a ling track record of obtaining justice for families with over $100 million recovered. Call us today at (800) 726-9565 to see how we can help your family. If you have had a loved one who has suffered while residing at a Life Care Center facility, we can assist you in filing a legal claim and taking it all the way through trial if necessary.