Additional Golden Living nursing homes added to legal action
HARRISBURG, Pa. — Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane today announced her office has filed an amended legal action against a chain of nursing home companies accused of misleading consumers by failing to provide basic services to elderly and vulnerable residents.
The amended legal action was filed Tuesday by the Office of Attorney General’s Health Care Section against Golden Gate National Senior Care LLC, which manages and operates 36 facilities statewide. Its subsidiaries are commonly known as Golden LivingCenters, of which there are now 25 named in the legal action.
Fourteen Golden LivingCenters were named in the original legal action filed July 1. An additional 11 facilities were included in the amended legal action, which also includes new allegations of understaffing and omitted care. The new allegations were the result of more than 350 complaints made to the Office of Attorney General after the office announced its case 10 weeks ago.
“We have heard from people across the state with complaints about facilities that carry the ‘Golden Living’ brand name,” Attorney General Kane said. “These first-hand accounts confirm that problems at Golden Living are pervasive, which is particularly troubling because the conduct affects our most vulnerable residents.”
The Office of Attorney General asserts in the legal action that Golden Living violated the Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law by deceiving consumers through its marketing practices.
The company advertised it would keep its residents clean and comfortable while providing food and water at any time. But its facilities were understaffed, leaving residents thirsty, hungry, dirty, unkempt and sometimes unable to summon anyone to help meet their most basic needs, such as going to the bathroom, the legal action asserts.
The new allegations detailed in the amended legal action support and expand many of the claims that were included in the original filing. They resulted in part from interviews with residents’ family members and former certified nursing assistants who worked at Golden Living facilities. The allegations include the following:
- Continent residents left in diapers because they were unable to obtain assistance going to the bathroom.
- Incontinent residents left in soiled diapers, in their own feces or urine, for extended periods of time.
- Residents at risk for bedsores from not being turned every two hours as required.
- Residents not receiving range of motion exercises to maintain mobility and flexibility.
- Residents not receiving showers or other hygiene services as required.
- Residents being woken at 5 a.m. or earlier to be washed and dressed for the day to accommodate staff stretched too thin.
- Residents not being timely dressed in order to attend their meals.
- Residents not being escorted to the dining hall and sometimes missing meals entirely.
- Long waits for responses to call bells or no responses at all.
- Staff, under the direction of management or fear of management, falsifying records to indicate residents received services when in fact they did not.
- Improved staffing when state inspections occurred, leading to deceit about the true conditions at the facility.
The Golden Living facilities added in the amended complaint are:
- Golden LivingCenter — Doylestown (Doylestown).
- Golden LivingCenter — East Mountain (Wilkes-Barre).
- Golden LivingCenter — Lancaster (Lancaster).
- Golden LivingCenter — Mansion (Sunbury).
- Golden LivingCenter — Reading (Reading).
- Golden LivingCenter — Rosemont (Rosemont).
- Golden LivingCenter — Scranton (Scranton).
- Golden LivingCenter — Shippenville (Shippenville).
- Golden LivingCenter — Uniontown (Uniontown).
- Golden LivingCenter — West Shore (Camp Hill).
- Golden LivingCenter — Murrysville (Murrysville).
Those names in the original complaint are:
- Golden LivingCenter — Blue Ridge Mountain (Harrisburg).
- Golden LivingCenter — Camp Hill (Camp Hill).
- Golden LivingCenter — Clarion (Clarion).
- Golden LivingCenter — Gettysburg (Gettysburg).
- Golden LivingCenter — Hillview (Altoona).
- Golden LivingCenter — Lansdale (Lansdale).
- Golden LivingCenter — Monroeville (Monroeville).
- Golden LivingCenter — Mount Lebanon (Pittsburgh).
- Golden LivingCenter — Phoenixville (Phoenixville).
- Golden LivingCenter — Stenton (Philadelphia).
- Golden LivingCenter — Summit (Wilkes-Barre).
- Golden LivingCenter — Tunkhannock (Tunkhannock).
- Golden LivingCenter — Western Reserve (Erie).
- Golden LivingCenter — York Terrace (Pottsville).
The amended legal action, filed in Commonwealth Court in the form of a complaint in equity and petition for permanent injunction, seeks permanent injunctive relief prohibiting Golden Living from engaging in the allegedly deceptive and unlawful business practices it is accused of.
It also seeks $1,000 per violation of the law, or up to $3,000 for every violation involving a person 60 years old or older. The action also seeks restitution for consumers and costs of litigation.
Those with complaints concerning Golden Living facilities or other health care facilities are encouraged to contact the Office of Attorney General’s Health Care Section. Complaints may be filed at www.attorneygeneral.gov by selecting “File a Complaint” from the tool bar and then “Health Care.” Complaints may also be filed by calling the Health Care helpline at 877-888-4877.