A lawsuit filed by the California Attorney General and a group of District Attorneys throughout the state alleges that Mariner Health Care Inc., which runs 19 nursing homes in California, systemically broke laws and harmed patients “all to generate increased profits at the expense of resident care.”
The Mariner action follows a civil lawsuit filed against one of its facilities and a similar lawsuit filed by the AG and District Attorneys against the Brookdale nursing home chain. The complaint against Mariner alleges the chain:
- failed to maintain sufficient staffing to meet the state minimums and the needs of its residents leading to poor wound care, pressure ulcers, lice, scabies, and sexual assaults;
- illegally dumped residents with Medi-Cal coverage in favor of more highly reimbursed residents with Medicare coverage; and
- falsified resident information reported to the government to fraudulently obtain a higher federal 5-star rating.
The Mariner and Brookdale lawsuits represent a new approach to nursing home enforcement in California, led by consumer advocates in the Attorney General’s office and in District Attorneys’ and City Attorneys’ offices around the state. These resident champions are thankfully filling some of the void left by the weak enforcement efforts of our state Department of Public Health.