Elder Care Advocate Sues Nine ManorCare Nursing Homes Over Staffing Levels
Nursing home advocate Ila Swan has filed a lawsuit against nine California nursing homes operated by Toledo, Ohio-based ManorCare Inc., alleging that "low nursing staff levels resulted in patients developing severe infections and bedsores," the San Diego Union-Tribune reports. The 68-page lawsuit, filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, alleges that patients at 300 ManorCare facilities nationwide "were malnourished, dehydrated and not given toilet assistance and had to lie in waste-soiled diapers." Steve Berman, the attorney representing Swan, said that ManorCare patients have higher-than-average rates of bedsores, weight loss and other conditions than patients at comparable facilities in the state (Clark, San Diego Union-Tribune, 5/9). The suit, which charges ManorCare with "putting profits over proper medical care and failing to maintain proper skilled nursing staff levels," states that ManorCare facilities on average have one nursing assistant per 10-12 patients (Morita, Sacramento Bee, 5/9). The suit's claims are based on the Department of Health Services' reports from the last two years and investigations of ManorCare facilities by Berman's office (San Diego Union-Tribune, 5/9). Swan also visited four ManorCare nursing homes in Sunnyvale, Walnut Creek and Citrus Heights before pursuing the lawsuit (Sacramento Bee, 5/9). The lawsuit asks the court to order ManorCare to stop its "allegedly deceptive ad campaigns," to make restitution in an undisclosed amount and to comply with state and federal nursing home requirements (San Diego Union-Tribune, 5/9).