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Evangelical Lutheran Good Samaritan Society

When considering the best place for our elderly loved ones when they can no longer care for themselves, nursing homes are often the next step – especially if family members are unable to provide the care. These facilities are supposed to provide adequate care for their daily and medical needs, as well as providing the emotional support they need. While this is exactly what happens in most nursing home facilities throughout the country, it isn’t always the case. In fact, some nursing homes are hit with numerous lawsuits based on neglect and abuse of our elderly loved ones.

Abuse and neglect in nursing homes are serious issues that can have dire consequences for seniors who are entrusted into the nursing home’s care. While there are government inspections, many cases go unnoticed until a resident or family member speaks up to alert someone that the problem is occurring. This is exactly what happened in several cases in Evangelical Lutheran Good Samaritan Society facilities across the country.

Evangelical Lutheran Good Samaritan Society Lawsuits

This non-profit elder care organization is the ninth largest provider in the country. Based out of Sioux Falls, SD, the organization has 166 facilities in 24 states. While they are a successful provider, they have had several lawsuits based on neglect and abuse.

  • In 2010 in South Dakota, a lawsuit seeking damages from Evangelical Lutheran Good Samaritan Society was filed for negligence in providing proper supervision. The case involved four certified nursing assistants who were teenagers, and were accused of physically, sexually and emotionally abusing patients in early 2008. The lawsuit alleged that these CNAs were entering patient rooms and locking doors. While they were in the rooms, screams could be heard coming from the patients, while the teenagers laughed. In addition, video recordings were taken as well. The lawsuit further alleged that this behavior continued over a period of up to six months. There were also criminal charges filed in the case, with two of the girls being tried in juvenile court, and two being tried as adults. The Good Samaritan Society did respond to the allegations by quickly terminating the CNAs, which helped them avoid citations from the Department of Health.
  • An earlier case that was similar in nature to the South Dakota lawsuit was also filed in Minnesota. However, the patients involved in the case died. Under Minnesota law, liability is ended if the victims are dead, so no charges were ever filed.
  • In Texas, the Texas Department of Human Services filed a lawsuit against the Evangelical Lutheran Good Samaritan Society for civil penalties after a resident died in one of the facilities. The lawsuit claimed that the nursing home violated three standards, all of which resulted in a threat to the safety and health of residents in the facility.
  • There was also an unemployment lawsuit filed against the Good Samaritan Society. While the lawsuit itself is unimportant, the information contained in it is. A registered nurse that was employed with the company from 2000 to 2006 was discharged for her treatment of patients in the facility, most notably because she was verbally and emotionally abusive. This employee’s behavior had been ongoing throughout her employment, with several complaints made about her conduct. She was even retrained and counseled in 2005. However, she was finally terminated after verbally and rudely abusing a patient in 2006, after six years of complaints about her treatment of patients.

Like most nursing homes, the Evangelical Lutheran Good Samaritan Society was created to provide adequate care and support for the elderly – unfortunately, these lawsuits show that has not been the case in every facility, as neglect and abuse have haunted this provider.





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