Major provider facing multiple nursing home negligence lawsuits

Posted on behalf of Stewart Bell, PLLC on Jul 16, 2012 in Nursing Home Information

Although independently-owned nursing homes and local chains, the nursing home industry has become increasingly dominated by a relatively small number of major corporations that operate a large number of nursing home facilities nationwide.

While this trend may have provided nursing home residents in West Virginia with some benefits in terms of cost and efficiencies, the corporate duty to serve shareholders first (in our opinion) is too often at odds with quality care and has been responsible for far too many cases of nursing home negligence and abuse here and across the nation.

We mention this because Extendicare, which provides nursing home care and other services in 13 states (including West Virginia), recently announced that it plans to halt operations in Kentucky and lease all of its 21 facilities there to a Texas-based long-term care provider. The press release included a statement from one company official citing Kentucky's "worsening litigation environment" and dim prospects for tort reform as reasons for the company's decision.

More likely than not, five wrongful death suit s and one nursing home negligence lawsuit that had been filed against Extendicare in Kentucky since January had something to do with the decision too. Those suits brought the total number of cases filed and still pending against the company in Kentucky since 2009 to 43.

Not surprisingly, the most recent state inspection of an Extendicare facility named in one of the most recent nursing home negligence lawsuits cited the home for not having enough nurses to care for every resident "in a way that maximizes the resident's well being." As we've repeatedly noted in previous blog posts, increasing corporate profits by cutting back on staff is a rampant problem throughout the industry and the most common denominator in cases of neglect and abuse.

Fortunately, Extendicare's decision to cut their losses and run will not affect the legal rights of the patients, residents and families that have been harmed by the company.

Source: Richmond Register, "Civil lawsuits mount against company that runs local nursing home," Sarah Hogsed, July 2, 2012

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