Monday, September 28, 2009

CA Nursing Homes Carry No Insurance - Victims No Recovery for Abuse or Neglect

n 2007, Grover Brown, a paraplegic 37-year-old, debilitated by multiple sclerosis and Parkinson's disease, developed a pressure sore soon after arriving at the High Street Care Center in East Oakland.

The sore erupted in March. By August, surgeons had removed his tailbone because the wound had festered without treatment, court documents showed.

Brown is suing High Street Care Center, which had a long list of citations from the Department of Public Health — 164 between 2004 and 2008. The facility is owned by Trinity Health Systems, whose president, Randal Kleis, has operated about a dozen facilities across the state under several corporate names.

But Brown, now 39, likely won't see more than a token settlement from High Street Care Center because skilled-nursing facilities, nursing homes and assisted-living care facilities — charged with caring for the sickest and most helpless Americans whose numbers are rapidly growing each year — are not required to carry liability insurance. The amount of the settlement he may ultimately receive is unlikely to cover the cost of care Brown will require as the result of his shoddy treatment at the High StreetCare Center, Renneisen said. The government will end up picking up the tab for his care.

And Kleis' other assets are untouchable because they were legally registered as separate corporate entities — a common way operators shield themselves and their profits.

full article

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