Navigation Links
Elder Care Operator and Plaintiff Attorney Announce Unprecedented Settlement Agreement in Class Action Lawsuit
Date:1/25/2008

California Suit Settled; Oregon Suit To Settle

LOS ANGELES, Jan. 25 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- An unprecedented move by residential elder care operator Sunwest Management was made recently when it came to the table to settle two class action lawsuits, one in California (Case #07CC00005), which was filed Dec. 21, 2007 in Orange County Superior Court, and one in Oregon (Case #0703-03248), which has received preliminary approval by the Multnomah County Circuit Court and should receive final approval in February 2008.

"I have handled hundreds of elder abuse cases, and never before have I seen a company like Sunwest take a good hard look at itself and willingly come to the table prepared to take responsibility for its actions and to make changes to ensure its residents are given the best possible care it can give them," says Long Beach, Calif., plaintiff attorney Stephen M. Garcia of The Garcia Law Firm. "Most of these companies run and hide so they can continue to profit unlawfully from the pain and suffering of our vulnerable elders. I believe Sunwest is starting a new chapter today."

In a rare break from tradition among elder care facilities, Sunwest Management is not requiring that the settlements be kept confidential. Though the company is not admitting to the specific allegations by settling the cases, the litigation resulted in revealing areas needed to be improved.

The California action settled for $4.5 million, and the Oregon suit settled for $1 million. Sunwest is compensating the plaintiffs in each case with per diem compensation for days spent in a Sunwest "community" during the specified time period. In California, this time frame is Jan. 15, 2003 through Jan. 15, 2007. In Oregon, the range is March 22, 2006 through March 22, 2007.

In the settlements, Sunwest also states that any money not claimed will be used for its facilities and for services for its residents. The company is agreeing to the appointment of an independent monitor who will undertake quarterly inspections of select Sunwest facilities. In order to ensure the credibility of the monitor's independence, Sunwest has chosen to abdicate any involvement in the selection of the monitor, who will be selected by plaintiff attorney Stephen M. Garcia of The Garcia Law Firm.

"Sunwest Management cares about its residents," says Sunwest attorney Timothy R. Graves of Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith. "After a thorough self-assessment, the company decided that the best way it could demonstrate its concern for each and every resident whose care is entrusted to them was to spend company money in improving residential care rather than spending that same money in litigation."

Sunwest Management, headquartered in Salem, Oregon, operates approximately 250 elder care facilities nationwide. It is one of the leading elder care management and operators of such facilities in the country.

Each of the class action complaints alleged that Sunwest Management, Inc., its directors, and the approximately 16 residential elder care facilities in the state of California and the more than 50 facilities in Oregon that it owns, operates or manages, failed to comply with applicable laws and regulations governing the operation of residential care facilities for the elderly, resulting in the defendants receiving multiple citations of deficiencies from the California Department of Social Services and the Oregon Department of Human Services, respectively.

The lawsuits alleged that Sunwest and its facilities deliberately understaffed its "communities" by forcing each facility to operate under a budget, approved and directed by Sunwest Management and the directors of the individual facilities, that would increase business profits by charging for services that were not provided, such as adequately staffing the residential care facility as it advertises that it does.

"This settlement demonstrates how our civil justice system can spur meaningful social change," says Garcia. "The residents will benefit from safe, specialized care at a Sunwest facility, which is ensured by an independent monitor. Moreover, Sunwest Management has the opportunity to become a nationwide showpiece among elder care facilities known for offering excellent care to its residents while it makes a fair profit for the company."

CONTACT: Geri Wilson

The Jonathan Group

626-403-6741

gerij9@yahoo.com


'/>"/>
SOURCE The Garcia Law Firm
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Low vitamin E levels associated with physical decline in elderly
2. The Widener University Elder Pennsylvanian Survey Finds Pennsylvanias Baby Boomers Anticipate Working Longer, Retiring Later to Help Offset Looming Health Care Costs
3. Combo Treatment Best for Elderly Lymphoma Patients
4. Marin County Scandal and Elder Abuse Horror: Lawsuits Link Death Nurse, Bay Area lawyers, Doctor and Blind Eye by Local, State, and National Public Officials
5. Rhode Island Hospital to study driving ability of cognitively impaired elders
6. Lack of Strong Thirst Signals Leads Elderly to Drink Too Little
7. Elderly at risk for physical disabilities exercise, improve physical function
8. A Little Help Can Boost Holiday Joy for Elderly
9. Message to the elderly: Its never too late to prevent illness!
10. Dramatic Growth Projected in Visits by Elderly Patients to Emergency Departments Underscores Urgency of Medicare Physician Payment Fix
11. CT colonography detects wide-range of extracolonic abnormalities in elderly patients
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:5/26/2017)... ... May 26, 2017 , ... A new analysis of ... the healthiest seniors are located in the Midwest. With the average cost of healthcare ... people are concerned with both the quality and affordability of where they live. An ...
(Date:5/26/2017)... ... May 26, 2017 , ... ... copper, antimicrobial, mesh back 24/7 task chair specifically designed for clinical areas. Genie ... are thrilled to partner with Cupron® to provide customers with a game changing ...
(Date:5/26/2017)... , ... May 26, 2017 , ... After raising nearly ... Top gadget will continue to be available at a discounted crowdfunding price on ... stress wherever they are, I also wanted to bring a fidget toy to the ...
(Date:5/26/2017)... ... 26, 2017 , ... Silver Birch of Hammond, a new assisted lifestyle community, ... four acres of land at 5620 Sohl Avenue in Hammond, serves older adults who ... 125 studio and one-bedroom apartments. Each of the private apartments at Silver Birch features ...
(Date:5/26/2017)... ... May 26, 2017 , ... Dr. Alex Rabinovich, a highly-skilled oral surgeon specializing ... blog post on insurance options. If a Bay Area patient has to search for ... and money. Visiting an in-network provider for a second opinion can ensure a patient ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:5/4/2017)... May 4, 2017  A new tight-tolerance microextrusion ... other highly-engineered materials, is being launched by Natvar, ... been developed in recent years to service a ... surgical applications. More expensive materials such as glass ... tubing due to their ability to consistently hold ...
(Date:5/3/2017)... 3, 2017 A Catheterization Laboratory is ... healthcare facility. Commonly referred to as cath lab, ... diagnostic imaging technology to give physicians visual access ... these spaces, a team of physicians perform life-saving ... coronary intervention, congenital heart defect closure, stenotic heart ...
(Date:5/3/2017)... , May 3, 2017  Getinge, a leading ... to quality enhancement and cost efficiency within healthcare ... study of contemporary practice demonstrating that intra-aortic balloon ... for critically ill patients. The single-center, retrospective, observational ... large volume MEGA ® 50cc intra-aortic balloon ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: