Lawyer Resources for Mississippi

Attorneys Representing Neglected Meridian Community Living Center Residents

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the state of Mississippi conduct routine scheduled surveys and unannounced investigations to determine the level of care every nursing home in the state provides. Typical surveys reveal 5 to 7 violations on average, even at the best-run nursing facilities.

However, in certain cases, where severe violations have the potential to cause significant harm or have caused harm to a resident, the CMS can designate the Home as a Special Focus Facility (SFF). This undesirable designation alerts the facility that they are ‘on notice’ and are required to make significant changes to their policies, procedures, and programs to ensure the safety and well-being of every resident. In addition to the typical two surveys performed every year, an SFF nursing home must undergo many more surveys and unannounced investigations to determine if the changes they made remain permanent.

Nursing Home Financial FraudIn a settlement agreement with the U.S. Attorney, the operator of 18 nursing homes in Tennessee and Mississippi has agreed to reimburse the government $ 2 million related to allegations of fraudulent billing practices at its facilities. Further, according to the terms of the settlement, the nursing home will implement an internal fraud-monitoring program and will train its employees on compliance with Medicare rules.

The Medicare fraud settlement was achieved after an operations manager confronted his employer, Vanguard Healthcare about its illegal billing practices at skilled nursing facilities that it owned.  Soon after the charges were made, the company turned around and fired the manager.

Still concerned about the illegal practices, the ex-employee initiated a lawsuit against Vanguard under provisions of the False Claims Act.  As in other healthcare fraud lawsuits, soon after the individual’s claims were substantiated— the federal government joined in the suit. In particular, the suit focused on Vanguard’s alleged double billing of services and submitting fraudulent Medicare claims for patients who were not eligible for the program.

The family of a deceased Mississippi nursing home patient that died from complications related to Clostridium Difficile (C. Diff) has settled a claim with the nursing home where she contracted the infection. WREG reported that the family of Virginia Valentine settled their wrongful death claim with Trinity Mission Health & Rehab for an undisclosed amount of money due to the alleged C. Diff infection of their loved one.

C. Diff Case With Nursing HomeShortly after her admission to Trinity Mission, Ms. Valentine became weakened to the point that she was taken to a nearby hospital.  While at the hospital, doctors diagnosed her with C. Diff and began administering antibiotics to kill the infection.  Despite the medical intervention, Ms. Valentine was unable to fight off the C. Diff and passed from complications.

Even though Ms. Valentine had executed an Alternative Dispute Resolution Agreement at the time of her admission to Trinity Mission, which called for all disputes to be resolved via arbitration, her family was successful in invalidating the agreement based upon multiple errors on the part of the facility.  Read more about the settlement of this nursing home claim here.

window.jpgA wrongful death lawsuit has been filed against Ridgeland Assisted Living (Mississippi) and its parent company Emeritus Corporation following an incidnet at the facility when a dementia patient fell from a second story window.

The lawsuit, filed by the daughter of the deceased resident, claims that despite multiple assurances from the facility, they failed to supervise and provide necessary safguards to keep the 83-year-old safe.

According to the lawsuit (see PDF version below: Diane Phillips individually and on behalf of the wrongful death benefitiaries of Merle Fall v. Ridgeland Assisted Living LLC and Emeritus Corp.), Ms. Fall was admitteded to Ridgeland on February 25, 2010 with known problems related to Alzheimer’s / dementia and a history of wandering from home.

Hazing Type Abuse In Mississippi Nursing HomeRecent national headlines regarding abusive nursing home workers appear almost surreal.  Abusive people caring for the most vulnerable seems commonplace.  Nonetheless, I was particularly disturbed to hear the report of nursing home abuse involving nurses at a Mississippi Nursing Home.  Clarionledger.com reports, two employees of Graceland Care Center have been arrested for crimes involving abuse of vulnerable adults.  According to the Mississippi Attorney General, Jim Hood, the arrests of the nurses were made following indictments by a Mississippi grand jury.

Cynthia Hunt, a 46-year-old LPN was charged with two felony counts of abuse of a vulnerable adult for an alleged incident where she poured aftershave on the genitals of a nursing home patient and administering medication that caused pain.  If convicted, Ms. Hunt faces up to 40 years in jail and $20,000 in fines.  The other LPN, Kathy Brooks, is accused of stealing a nursing home patients’ pain medication, hyrocodone.  If convicted Ms. Brooks, faces one to five years in jail.

How many other nursing home residents were victimized by these abusive nursing home employees before they were caught?

Justia Lawyer Rating for Jonathan Rosenfeld

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