AARP filing lawsuits to stop illegal nursing home evictions

Lawyers for AARP recently took the unprecedented step of filing a lawsuit against a California nursing home chain claiming the defendant violates the civil rights of patients by evicting them without due cause. The group filed their suit on behalf of an 83-year old woman with alzheimers who became separated from her 90-year old husband after the nursing home claimed they could no longer care for her needs.


According to the lawsuit, the defendant sent the plaintiff to a hospital for a psychiatric evaluation after staff claimed he became combative and threw plastic tableware. After the hospital could find nothing wrong with her apart from her preexisting condition, the nursing home refused to take the plaintiff back in. Even after the plaintiff’s daughter won a hearing in front of the California Department of Health Care Services concerning the matter, the nursing home still refused to readmit the plaintiff.


Under state and federal nursing home regulations, patients are entitled to several rights. For the most part, nursing homes need to give residents 30-days notice if they intend to evict a resident and must hold their bed for at least a week should the resident enter the hospital. According to AARP lawyers, the plaintiff was not afforded either of these protections by the nursing home.


Sadly, this type of treatment is not an isolated incident, nor does it come with serious consequences when nursing homes do in fact illegally evict residents. Often times, nursing homes and other similar facilities appear to act with questionable motives when they try to evict residents.


According to a report by NPR, just seven percent of nursing homes in California found to have violated resident rights were fined by state regulators. Even when nursing facilities were fined, the dollar amount resulted in nothing more than a slap on the wrist to facilities who continue to take in millions of taxpayer dollars every year.


In Maryland, one large nursing home chain is under investigation for illegally evicting residents and committing Medicare fraud over claims the defendant billed the state for services it did not deliver. In Illinois, the number of residents illegally evicted has doubled over the last five years.


Fortunately, states across the country are waking up to the issue and beginning to prosecute illegal nursing home evictions more aggressively. Families of residents who believe their loved ones were illegally evicted should contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible about their case to ensure any due process is followed and their loved one is given a fair hearing.

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