Sunday, March 18, 2007

13 South California nursing homes accused of elder abuse

SANTA ANA – More than a dozen nursing homes run by one of the largest elder care providers in the country were accused of elder abuse and fraud in a class-action lawsuit filed in Orange County Superior Court.

The lawsuit accuses 13 Southern California care centers operated by Life Care Centers of America Inc. of having a long history of substandard care. The complaint was filed Thursday by attorney Stephen Garcia on behalf of thousands of California residents who lived in one of the centers between 2003 to 2007.

Garcia accused the company of seeking out “the sickest of the sick who require the most attention” because these patients would bring in higher Medicare payments. The company would then give these patients little attention, Garcia claimed.

He hopes the lawsuit will force the court to order an independent monitor to oversee the company's centers.

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