Closing Arguments Made in Epic Nursing Home Case

Closing arguments began in what is now one of the longest trials in Humboldt County history involving allegations of neglect at 21 nursing homes owned by Skilled Healthcare. Michael Thamer, a lawyer dedicated to defending the rights of nursing home residents, will argue that Skilled Healthcare, because of deliberate decisions to keep nursing home staff at the lowest possible numbers, repeatedly exposed its residents to substandard care, including the failure to regularly bathe its patients, allowing residents to lie in soiled bed sheets for hours, and failing to treat bed sores.

”In my opinion, they (staff members) are set up to fail before they even start,” Thamer told the court.

Under California law, nursing must provide at least 3.2 hours of nursing care per resident, per day. These hourly requirements apply to direct patient care, and must be performed by registered nurses, licensed vocational nurses and certified nursing assistants. According to the plaintiff, Skilled Healthcare totally failed in this regard, and regularly understaffed its facilities for financial gain.

”We are trying to send this corporation a message,” said Michael Crowley, Thamer’s co-counsel. “They need to care more about their patients and less about their bottom profit line.”

More than 32,000 people are represented in the class action, and, depending how the court decides to calculate the statutory penalties, Skilled Healthcare could be liable for up to 1.4 million violations to the tune of $2,500 each.
Source: Times Standard

The Southern California nursing home abuse and neglect lawyers at Walton Law Firm provide free consultations to individuals and families who believe a loved one has been abused or neglected in the nursing home or assisted living setting. Call (866) 607-1325 for a free and confidential case evaluation.

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