Lawsuit Filed: Class Action Lawsuit Filed Against Six California Nursing Facilities for Financial Elder Abuse & Fraud
Los Angeles, Calif. – Garcia & Artigliere filed a class action lawsuit for violations of the Consumer Legal Remedies Act and violations of residents rights against the owners of six nursing facilities operated and managed throughout California on behalf of Naser Parsa and more than 3,000 class members. The lawsuit alleges the defendants intentionally concealed from Parsa and class members that the facilities were chronically understaffed in order to deceive the plaintiffs into becoming residents of the facilities. This scheme was implemented to wrongfully increase business profits at the expense and health of residents. The nursing facilities include: P&M Management, Inc.; Silverscreen Healthcare, Inc.; Mesa Glen Holdings, LLC; Philmar Care, LLC; Sela Healthcare, Inc.; P&M Healthcare Holdings, Inc.; and Does 1 through 250 acting as an agent, partner, joint venturer, representative and/or employee of the defendants.
“Naser and the class members relied on the defendants’ representations that they would be provided with the minimum standards of care consistent with the requirements of Health & Safety Code §1599.1(a), yet did not receive this promised standard of care and suffered injuries and financial harm by being deprived of the value of payments made for skilled nursing services,” said Attorney Stephen Garcia. “The lawsuit asserts the defendants knew that understaffing the facilities would create a high risk of harm to the residents, but consciously disregarded this knowledge and continued to maintain insufficient staffing levels. It’s evident that the defendants did not devote sufficient financial resources to protect the health and safety of residents and ensure resident rights weren’t violated, and instead, diverted those resources to create ill-begotten profits.”
Allegations and Background
According to the lawsuit, during Plaintiff Naser Parsa’s residency, Defendant Silvercreen Healthcare, Inc. dba Asistencia Villa Rehabilitation and Care Center reported to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (“CMS”) that it maintained a total of 4.25 nursing hours per patient day even though it maintained merely 3.91 adjusted nursing hours per patient day, at a time when the CMS’s expected nursing hours per patient day was 4.38 given the high acuity levels of residents at the facility. Similarly, reports for the remaining five defendant facilities uncovered chronic understaffing and the facilities’ resident acuity levels during the class period were so high such that the “minimum” staffing ratios exceeded the numeric minimum of Health & Safety Code §1276.5 pursuant to the provisions of Title 22 California Code of Regulations §§72515(b), 72329.1 and 42 C.F.R. §483.30.
It’s alleged as operators of skilled nursing facilities must, pursuant to statutes and regulations with which the defendants are required to comply, know that sufficient nursing staff is required to meet the needs of residents and to ensure the health and safety of residents. Conversely, the defendants, as operators of skilled nursing facilities must also know that a failure to maintain sufficient staffing to meet the needs of residents will endanger the health and safety of residents. The defendants, as operators of skilled nursing facilities, cannot claim ignorance of these regulatory requirements without endangering their very licensure. Skilled nursing facilities have the “responsibility to see to it that the license is not used in violation of law.” (California Assn. of Health Facilities v. Department of Health Services (1997) 16 Cal.4th 284, 295.); see also California Code of Regulations, §72501, subd. (a) (skilled nursing facilities “shall be responsible for compliance with the licensing requirements and for the organization, management, operation and control of the licensed facility”).
Rather than providing care and services which protected the rights of their residents, the defendants consistently provided substandard care as evidenced by the facilities repeatedly receiving citations of deficiencies from the California Department of Public Health, which found that the facilities consistently violated residents’ rights and provided substandard care. As a result, the defendants have violated and continue to violate the Consumer Legal Remedies Act, Civil Code §1770 et seq.
Had the concealed facts been disclosed to Parsa and members of the class, they would not have become residents of the facilities and would not have paid, or had monies paid on their behalf, for the substandard skilled nursing care at the facilities.