Sample Verdicts & Lawsuits Against the Ensign Group Nursing Home

The Ensign Group is one of the nation’s largest nursing home chains. However, like many of the large nursing home chains, the Ensign Group has experienced problems in the care that it provides to residents of its homes. As a result, there have been a number of lawsuits filed against The Ensign Group both by residents’ families as well as whistleblowers.

The Ensign Group owns or operates over 230 locations that are spread across 13 states. 181 of these locations are considered skilled nursing facilities, and the company has nearly 19,000 beds in these locations. According to the 2017 Annual Report, The Ensign Group owns 63 of these facilities and leases the rest under long-term agreement. The Ensign Group operates under a unique structure insofar as it claims that each of its homes is operated by an independent subsidiary. Each operating subsidiary is treated as a portfolio company. The company claims that this structure allows for local decision-making for each facility.

Nevertheless, The Ensign Group may be held legally responsible for the actions of its subsidiaries in a lawsuit against The Ensign Group. The company has attended to use this structure to shield the parent company from liability for the actions of the subsidiary. However, courts have seen fit to hold The Ensign Group legally responsible.

In a 2011 lawsuit against The Ensign Group, the company attempted to argue that it should not be responsible for any injuries suffered at the homes of its subsidiary. However, a court explained why it was necessary to hold The Ensign Group responsible. The court found that The Ensign Group directly engages in the control of the nursing home and holds itself out to the public as an operator of nursing home. This defeated the company’s attempt to insulate itself from legal responsibility through the use of a complex corporate structure.

The Ensign Group is very aggressive in its acquisition strategy when it comes to purchasing nursing homes. The company has grown by a large amount in the past ten years. From the period between 2012 and 2017, The Ensign Group purchased 128 facilities. This more than doubled the size of the chain.

The Ensign Group is a publicly traded company. At this writing, its market capitalization is roughly $2.5 billion. In 2018, the company made nearly $100 million in operating profits spread out among all of its business segments, including its assisted living operations.

The Ensign Group has faced several lawsuits alleging that it provided with residents with insufficient care that has caused injury to residents. There have been several lawsuits alleging that Ensign Group nursing homes providing insufficient care to prevent and treat pressure ulcers. Most pressure ulcers are considered avoidable so long as staff shifts the resident’s position every two hours. Typically pressure ulcers that grow and become infected are the result of some sort of lack of care that can rise to the level of neglect.

Here are some of the lawsuits that have been filed against The Ensign Group:

Lawsuits Against the Ensign Group for Pressure Ulcers

2015 - Lawsuit Filed in California – The resident developed a small pressure ulcer on her back. The lawsuit alleged that due to the nursing home’s lack of care and treatment, the ulcer grew to a baseball sized wound that became infected. The family transferred the resident to another nursing home in order for her to receive better treatment.

2016 – Settlement ($800,000) in California – The resident allegedly suffered an incurable dislocated hip and well as pressure ulcers to her heels while she was under the care of the nursing home. The lawsuit alleged that the resident was not provided with sufficient pain management, nor was she given timely and appropriate assessment of her condition. In fact, the dislocation was not even discovered until she was moved to another facility. An attempt at surgery to fix the dislocation was unsuccessful, leading to a permanent disability.

Lawsuits Against the Ensign Group for Inadequate Staffing

2007 – Settlement ($3,000,000) in California – There was a class action lawsuit that was filed against The Ensign Group for not appropriately staffing its nursing homes in the state to provide an adequate level of care for residents. State regulations mandate that each nursing home provide residents with a minimum amount of nursing time for each resident each day. There is a cause of action if the nursing home does not comply. The lawsuit also alleged that the nursing home made false advertising claims.

Whistleblower Lawsuit Against the Ensign Group for Fraudulent Billing

2013 – Settlement ($48,000,000) in California – There was a whistleblower lawsuit filed against The Ensign Group for Medicare fraud. The nursing home chain ordered treatment for residents that they did not need in order to increase their Medicare billings. The lawsuit was brought under the False Claims Act and covered six nursing homes in the chain.

Was Your Loved One Mistreated at an Ensign Group Nursing Home? Get Legal Help Now

The attorneys at the Nursing Home Law Center have years of experience in dealing with nursing homes such as the Ensign Group that sometimes put profits over the care of their residents. We help families exercise their legal rights when they have been violated at a nursing home. We are familiar with the many different types of injuries that residents can sustain at a nursing home and know how to litigate them to conclusion. Call us today at (800) 726-9565 to set up your free no-risk case consultation.

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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