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The Garcia Law Firm Files Suit Against 32 Local Nursing Homes

Garcia & Artigliere

Longwood Management Corporation; Jacob, David, Irving, and Leah Friedman; the Friedman Living Trust; the Friedman Family Trust; and Mid-Wilshire Capital Management Group, which owns, operates and/or manages at least 32 skilled nursing facilities [list by city follows] comprised of more than 5,000 beds primarily in Southern California, including Los Angeles, San Gabriel Valley, San Fernando Valley, Long Beach, Pomona, and Anaheim areas, were slapped with a class action lawsuit (Case #BC348147), Wednesday, March 1, 2006, in Los Angeles Superior Court, Central District, alleging unlawful business practices, unfair and fraudulent business practices, violations of health & safety codes, and violations of the Consumer Legal Remedies Act on behalf of Estelle Benkle by her successors in interest, Stewart Benkle and Andrea Ackerman on her behalf, and on the behalf of the thousands of other citizens of the State of California similarly situated.

The essence of the complaint is that the defendants professed that their skilled nursing facilities provided the level of patient staffing and quality of care that are required, at the very minimum, by the State of California and that they billed individuals, their private insurance companies, and government sources, such as MediCare and MediCal, as if they had been providing the care promised. The reality is that they did not provide this legally mandated minimum care to the elder and infirm residents of their skilled nursing facilities.

“This case isn’t just about dollars and cents, it is truly about lies and misrepresentations made by these defendants simply to fill beds and to increase profits and all the while these defendants knew their facilities were woefully understaffed and as the result, residents were maimed, abused and killed,” says Long Beach plaintiff attorney Stephen M. Garcia of Garcia Law. “I have successfully litigated hundreds of elder abuse cases throughout the southwest, and there is a direct correlation between the level and quality of care a patient receives and the direct nursing staff available at a facility. Every one of these elderly patients at these facilities is in physical and mental danger, in addition to being ‘ripped off’ by these facilities.”

“This is a classic case of corporate greed,” Garcia continues. “They ignore the needs of a particularly vulnerable segment of our community. Our parents, our grandparents and someday ourselves are the victims of this ‘profits over people’ mentality.”

In 1999, in response to a growing concern over the low levels of direct patient staffing and quality of care in nursing homes, the California legislature increased required direct patient care to 3.2 hours per day as of January 2000. In fact, the Longwood defendants’ facilities operated outside the law and are so understaffed, that they often have been cited by the Department of Health Services for being in chronic violation of applicable rules and laws and they have a long and lengthy history of providing substandard care. In the last few months, the Longwood defendants have been determined to be liable for the abuse of one of their residents leading to a $12 million jury verdict in recognition of the Longwood defendants’ horrific conduct.

Furthermore, Garcia says the billing was institutionalized into the facilities’ budgets. By understaffing the skilled nursing facilities but billing at the rate of the state-mandated 3.2 hours of direct nursing care, profits and director and officer bonuses were maximized.

“This case is drawing a line in the sand,” says Garcia. “Through this case, we are telling those operators who think that our elderly relatives’ and friends’ value is determined by how much money the operator can make off of them, that we won’t stand for it anymore. It is time to stop this egregious abuse of the law, and our elders by the Longwood defendants.”

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List of Facilities Involved
Anaheim
Park Anaheim Healthcare Center (Park Anaheim Health Care, LLC)

Burbank
Alameda Care Center (Artesia Healthcare, Inc.)
Burbank Healthcare & Rehabilitation Center (Burbank Healthcare, Inc.)

Canoga Park
West Hills Health & Rehabilitation Center (Canoga Healthcare, Inc.)

Covina
Covina Rehabilitation Center

Glendale
Broadway Manor Convalescent Hospital (Broadway Manor Care Center, Inc.)

Granada Hills
Magnolia Gardens Convalescent Hospital

Hawthorne
Imperial Crest Health Care Center

Long Beach
Colonial Care Center

Los Angeles
Alden Terrace Convalescent Hospital (Alden Enterprises, Inc.), 90006
Burlington Convalescent Hospital, 90057
Crenshaw Nursing Home (Crenshaw Enterprises, Inc.), 90016
Longwood Manor Convalescent Hospital (Longwood Enterprises, Inc.), 90016
Sunnyview Convalescent Center (Sunnyview Convalescent Hospital, Inc.), 90018
View Park Convalescent Center (View Park Convalescent Hospital, Inc.), 90008
Western Convalescent Hospital (Tzippy Care, Inc.), 90018

North Hollywood
Sherman Village Healthcare Center (Coldwater Care Center LLC)

Norwalk
Intercommunity Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center (Norwalk Healthcare, Inc.)

Montrose
Montrose Nursing Center (Montrose Healthcare, Inc.)

Pico Rivera
Pico Rivera Healthcare Center

Pomona
Chino Valley Rehabilitation Center

Reseda
Northridge Care Center (JRB Investments, Inc.)

Rosemead
Green Acres Lodge
Monterrey Care Center
San Gabriel Convalescent Center

San Dimas
Casa Bonita Convalescent Hospital

San Gabriel
Live Oak Rehabilitation Center (S.G.V. Healthcare, Inc.)

Sherman Oaks
Sherman Oaks Health & Rehabilitation Center (Ability Homecare, Inc.)

Studio City
Imperial Care Center (ICC Convalescent Corp.)
Studio City Rehabilitation Center (Studio City Convalescent Hospital)

Whittier
Shea Rehabilitation Healthcare Center

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