According to the Times Standard, a Humboldt County jury awarded a major verdict of $671 million against a nursing home chain, with several similar lawsuits pending in the state of California. All lawsuits filed against Skilled Healthcare allege its nursing homes provide too few staff to meet resident needs.
Skilled Healthcare failed to meet the state staffing standard, according to a Humboldt County jury and imposed a fine of $500 per patient for each day that the chain was in violation. The nursing home chain agreed to settle those claims for $50 million and avert bankruptcy.
The class action settlement of $671 million is the largest of jury verdicts in nursing home litigation history. The Times Standard of Eureka covered Skilled Healthcare complaints and interviewed its residents in a series of published articles. The newspaper covered horror stories of residents talking about neglect and poor care due to understaffed nursing homes.
One former Skilled Healthcare resident spoke of how difficult it was for her to count on nurses to assist with her needs. Diana Medal claimed she would wait all night for a bedpan or assistance to the bathroom. Medal claimed the staff cared but they were overworked and understaffed, causing them to be unable to assist residents in a timely manner. Medal was one of 42,000 residents that participated in the lawsuit against the California facilities.