Kindred Healthcare, which is one of the largest nursing home chains in the United States, has 621 locations. Some of these locations provide long-term care, some provide nursing and rehabilitation, and they have a contract rehabilitation service. With all of these facilities and modes of care, it seems as if the company knows exactly what they’re doing when it comes to taking care of our nation’s elderly. Unfortunately, the numerous lawsuits against the conglomerate paint an entirely different picture.
Kindred Healthcare Lawsuits
There have been many nursing home abuse and wrongful death claims brought against the nursing home giant. The following are just a few:
- In 2004, a certified nursing assistant in a Kindred facility in Franklin, MA was charged with assault and sexual abuse against Alzheimer patients. A total of four residents were brought into the indictment with charges that included physical, emotional and sexual abuse, as well as elder abuse. The patients ranged in age from 75 to 105.
- In 2009, a wrongful death lawsuit was brought against a Kindred facility in Waltham, MA. The resident had been moved to the facility in order to be weaned off of a ventilator. She was listed as high risk for decannulation, which means that she could remove her tracheotomy or breathing apparatus, due to her attempting to disconnect the ventilator on her own. The patient was to be monitored, and have restraints used when close monitoring was not possible to protect her from decannulation. The licensed practical nurse on duty on 05/05/2009 did not ensure that the patient was restrained or monitored after visitors left her room. The patient decannulated and died as a result.
- In 2011, Kindred Healthcare was listed in a lawsuit brought by former residents of the entity’s nursing homes. The suit alleged that Kindred did not provide adequate nurses to provide the care needed by the patients. As a result, turnings were infrequent, resulting in pressure sores and other injuries; call lights were often ignored for extended periods of time; assistance was not provided for eating, dressing, and bathing; and proper fluids were not provided when needed. Based on these issues, the lawsuit was filed in an effort to prove that the Kindred Healthcare facility, among others, was not in compliance with California state laws concerning skilled nursing.
- In February 2014, a resident in a Greenbrae, California Kindred Healthcare facility sued the organization for elder abuse after an unknown attacker sexually assaulted her. This was the second time the resident had reported a sexual assault in the facility, with the first occurring in 2012. The resident died in October of 2014, and the lawsuit was closed due to insufficient evidence. However, state authorities began their own investigation into the claims in February 2015, which is still ongoing.
All of these lawsuits show that there are potential issues within the Kindred Healthcare organization, which was backed up by CEO Paul Diaz in 2012. During that time, the organization was considering moving nursing facilities out of Kentucky if there were no caps placed on the medical malpractice laws. In an interview, Diaz stated, “We made $6.5 billion in revenue last year, made $80 million in profits and paid $70 million in malpractice costs.”
Nursing home abuse and neglect are serious, growing problems in this country. If you or a loved one has been subjected to abuse or neglect, you need to contact an attorney about your rights. You should also contact the proper authorities to ensure that the abuse is handled properly – it might just save another resident from going through the same thing or worse.