Virginia suspended the license of a nursing home owner for being abusive to a patient and for improperly discharging the same patient from the nursing home. This did not, however, stop the nursing home owner from becoming involved in facilities in nearby states. In 2009, his company took over operations for a nursing home that declared bankruptcy in Pennsylvania. Over a year later, Pennsylvania’s Department of Public Welfare learned that the man was involved in fraud-related lawsuits stemming from his activities in Maryland.
The man reached a settlement that required him to repay his former employer over $1 million for fraudulent actions. The employer brought a lawsuit against him when it learned about payments it had made to companies that acquaintances of the man owned. In depositions relating to the lawsuit, the man invoked the Fifth Amendment’s self-incrimination protection 88 times. The lawsuit also alleged that the man billed the nursing home for his personal landscaping services and the purchase of a washer and dryer for his home.
While many nursing homes are excellent facilities for elderly family members, there are, unfortunately, nursing homes and caregivers for which this is not the case. The National Center on Elder Abuse estimates that caregivers have injured or exploited between one and two million Americans over age 65. For every case that someone reports, there are as many as five that nobody reports. Exploitation, abuse and fraud continue to occur in nursing homes year after year.
A Virginia nursing home abuse lawyer is available to provide guidance to family members of those abused or exploited in a nursing home. For more information about combating nursing home abuse, contact Julie H. Heiden, a Northern Virginia personal injury attorney, at Koonz, McKenney, Johnson & DePaolis L.L.P.