A statewide task force led by the Santa Cruz County District Attorney’s Office has filed suit against the nation’s largest nursing home chain, alleging it ignored laws that protect patients’ safety and that it manipulated the federal government’s nursing home ratings system.
The announcement of the lawsuit — released last Tuesday by Jeffrey Rosell, the county’s district attorney — includes several allegations: that Brookdale Senior Living failed to properly notify its patients and families of transfers and discharges; failed to provide required timely notice to its patients with a copy to the local ombudsmen; and failed to properly prepare its patients for transfer or discharge, all of which “endangered the health of its patients and left families scrambling to find other places to care for their loved ones,” according to the announcement.
The Brookdale website lists 15 facilities it operates in the region between Santa Cruz and Santa Rosa, including the following: two in Danville (Brookdale Danville and Brookdale Diablo Lodge), two in Pleasanton (Brookdale Home Health and Brookdale Hospice San Jose offices), three in Santa Rosa, and one each in San Ramon (Brookdale San Ramon), Fremont, Redwood City, Brentwood, Napa, San Jose, Sonoma and Scotts Valley.
The suit alleges that the company was also awarded undeserved four-and five-star ratings for its nursing homes, after the company provided false information by over-reporting its nursing staffing hours.
The statewide task force includes California Attorney General Xavier Becerra and was founded in a joint effort by the Santa Cruz District Attorney’s Office and the Kern County District Attorney’s Office.