Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane has filed a lawsuit against 14 Golden Gate National Senior Care LLC nursing homes with allegations of deceptive and unlawful business practices, according to the Republican Herald. Specifically, the lawsuit alleges Golden Living used deceptive marketing tactics, falsified records of care and willfully deceived state inspectors.
"As we allege, these companies profited at the expense of our most vulnerable residents," Kane told the Republican Herald. "These facilities promised to provide the care needed by residents and then failed to meet residents’ most basic human needs. That is simply unacceptable."
Golden Living advertisements say staff keep residents clean and comfortable and also provide food and water at anytime, but the lawsuit states facilities were understaffed leaving residents dirty, hungry, unkempt and without ways to get to restrooms.
"Defendants’ staffing practices cost residents their dignity and comfort, and jeopardized their health and safety,” Kane’s complaint said. “Interviews with residents' family members and former certified nursing assistants who worked at Golden Living facilities revealed a widespread pattern of understaffing and omitted care, the legal action states.”
Pennsylvania Health Secretary Karen Murphy sent out a release saying she was “deeply concerned” by the allegations of inadequate care.
"The Department of Health takes very seriously its duty to protect the health of the general public, especially vulnerable individuals residing in nursing care facilities," said Murphy in a PR Newswire release. "To that end, the Department will accelerate its current efforts to evaluate our Regulatory processes in order to determine what additional measures can be taken to ensure enhanced quality in the future."
Golden Living CEO Neil Kurtz, MD calls Kane’s complaint “baseless and wholly without merit.”
"No doubt, this is an unfortunate result of Kathleen Kane's inappropriate and questionable relationship with a Washington, DC-based plaintiff's firm that preys on legitimate businesses and is then paid by contingency fees,” Kurtz said in a release. “Golden Living also believes that this complaint is in retaliation for our challenging the Attorney General's authority in a pending lawsuit. We plan to vigorously defend the reputation of Golden Living and its employees."