Coronavirus Outbreak

L.A. Nursing Home Faces Covid-19 Patient Dumping Lawsuit by City

July 9, 2020, 7:30 PM

The city of Los Angeles sued a skilled nursing facility for “dumping,” neglecting, and abusing patients amid the Covid-19 pandemic, marking the second dumping lawsuit against the group since 2019, city officials announced on Thursday.

Lakeview Terrace Skilled Nursing Facility LLC unlawfully discharged sick, elderly, and disabled patients into facilities that were unable to care for them without consent for several months, Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer said in announcing the lawsuit filed in Los Angeles Superior Court on Tuesday. In 2019, Feuer’s office reached a settlement with the facility to resolve patient dumping allegations.

Patients are “especially vulnerable during this deadly pandemic,” Feuer said.

“We allege this facility’s conduct continues to jeopardize its patients—despite our previous lawsuit, injunction, six-figure settlement, court-appointed Monitor and enforcement by state regulators,” he added. “We won’t let up until we know these patients receive the treatment they deserve.”

Lakeview stands accused of failing to protect its patients, as required by the prior settlement, as well as failing to report allegations of resident abuse and resident neglect. The nursing home further forced some new patients to spend their first night in common areas because it accepted too many patients, according to the current complaint.

The earlier $600,000 settlement between Feuer’s office and Lakeview centered on allegations involving homeless and mentally impaired residents. The nursing home was required to spend $150,000 for an independent monitor to oversee its operations for two years, according to Feuer.

City officials say patient dumping occurs when nursing facilities want to make room for new patients, especially those covered by Medicare. Nursing homes can receive up to $600 more per patient for Medicare patients suffering from Covid-19, according to the city attorney’s office.

Causes of Action: Intentional violation of injunction; unfair competition.

Relief: Enjoining defendants from engaging in unfair competition, appointment of special master to oversee compliance, civil penalties, and costs of suit.

Response: Lakeview didn’t immediately respond to Bloomberg Law’s request for comments.

Attorneys: Counsel information for Lakeview wasn’t immediately available Thursday.

The case is California v. Lakeview Terrace Skilled Nursing Facility LLC, Cal. Super. Ct., No. 20-STCV-25436, 7/8/20.

To contact the reporter on this story: David McAfee in Los Angeles at dmcAfee@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Rob Tricchinelli at rtricchinelli@bloomberglaw.com

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