In a big victory for nursing home residents, a California court has ruled that residents who are dumped and refused readmission only need to prevail in their administrative fair hearing in order to establish a violation of their rights in a civil action against the facility.
The case involves former nursing home resident Gloria Single, who was dumped from a Sacramento nursing home called Pioneer House into a hospital and refused readmission in 2017. Ms. Single’s husband lived at Pioneer House too so the facility’s illegal refusal to readmit her meant the couple was kept apart for the rest of Ms. Single’s life (she passed away in 2019).
Shortly after her illegal eviction, Ms. Single exercised her right to appeal with the state Department of Health Care Services. Her appeal was successful and Pioneer House was ordered to readmit Ms. Single. But it didn’t, choosing instead to thumb its nose at the State. Eventually, Ms. Single filed suit.
The court’s order found that Ms. Single’s successful appeal creates “issue preclusion,” meaning the determination of Pioneer House’s conduct as illegal had already been adjudicated in the administrative appeal and carried over to Ms. Single’s civil case. Thus, nursing home residents who prove that their facility violated their rights in a state eviction hearing are entitled to judgment as a matter of law in a subsequent civil action.
Gloria Single is represented by Matt Borden of Braunhagey & Borden. Braunhagey & Borden have spent the last several years successfully fighting for justice for illegally dumped nursing home residents.