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September 3rd, 2010

A California jury has recently issued a $677 million verdict for a class-action lawsuit representing 32,000 patients at homes owned by Skilled Healthcare Group Inc.

The patients blamed staff shortages for rampant nursing home abuse and nursing home neglect at Skilled Healthcare facilities. Many nursing home companies such as Skilled Healthcare are publicly owned giving rise to accusations that such nursing homes are more concerned about the company bottom line than the care of their residents.

“The major problem for most nursing homes in California and in the nation is staffing,” said Pat McGinnis, executive director and founder of the California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform. “The verdict is a statement that facilities must follow the law and meet minimum standards. The fact that this company couldn’t maintain these minimum standards makes you wonder why it was in the nursing home business to begin with.”

Boyd Hendrickson, Skilled Healthcare Chairman and CEO, said that he believes the companies nursing homes are appropriately staffed and is “deeply disappointed” in the verdict.

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