Skilled Healthcare To Pay $50M Settlement in Nursing Home Lawsuit
On Tuesday, Skilled Healthcare Group announced that it has agreed to pay $50 million to settle a class-action lawsuit after a jury imposed more than $670 million in damages against the nursing home chain, the Los Angeles Times reports.
In July, a Humboldt County Superior Court jury found the company liable for understaffing each of its 22 facilities in California. State law requires 3.2 nursing hours per patient daily.
Skilled Healthcare then appealed the verdict, arguing that its facilities were appropriately staffed (Olivarez-Giles, Los Angeles Times, 9/8). Meanwhile, observers expressed concern that the verdict amount would have bankrupted the company.
In addition to the $50 million settlement, Skilled Healthcare will pay $12.8 million to cover the cost of an earlier injunction that ordered each of the company's 22 California facilities to comply with state-mandated staffing levels (Drange, Eureka Times-Standard, 9/9).
The company also agreed to allow an outside monitor to track nurse staffing levels at its California locations for two years.
Skilled Healthcare admitted no wrongdoing in the settlement (Los Angeles Times, 9/8).
On Friday, Judge Bruce Watson isÂ scheduled to review the settlement agreement. The court also will issue a decision on the amount of attorney's fees that will be associated with the case.
Approximately 32,000 people represented by the class-action lawsuit are expected to receive letters this month detailing the breakdown of the settlement (Eureka Times-Standard, 9/9).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.