A class action lawsuit has been filed on behalf of many past and current patients of Golden Living Centers in California alleging that the facilities’ failed to provide minimum nursing care for patients over the past five years.
Despite California state standards that require nursing homes to provide no less than 3.2 hours of nursing care per patient per day, the facilities allegedly chose to ignore the legal requirements and elected to staff the facilities as elected. As a result of Golden Living’s failure to provide state mandated nursing care, the lawsuit alleges that patients suffered neglect and injury.
In response to the lawsuit, the nursing home asserts that their care was sufficient for the needs of the patients and that the pending lawsuit should be dismissed.
However, they frankly are ignoring the crux of the case before them– that they broke the law by failing to provide the state mandated nursing care to their patients.
A San Francisco Superior Court Judge will decide next month if the lawsuit can proceed under the current theory being alleged.
A similar nursing home class action lawsuit, almost put the large nursing home operator Skilled Living out of business when a jury awarded more than $670 million to members of a class who alleged similar under-staffing.
As a nursing home lawyer, I find it refreshing to see that many of these large nursing home operators are finally getting called out for their conscious decisions reduce staffing levels in order to increase profits. While it can be difficult to trace directly, facilities that chronically under-staff, tend to have higher rates of patient injury. Assuming that this case progresses forward, it will hopefully be a huge wake-up call for the industry.
Health facility targeted in lawsuit, By Dan Johnson Petaluma360.com, July 8, 2011