Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Houser being sued again for alleged nursing home neglect

George Houser, who already lost one costly lawsuit over poor care at one of his nursing homes, is now facing another challenge in court.

A Rome woman is claiming her husband was neglected during his five-week stay, and the lack of care led to his eventual death.

Elaine Siegel is being represented by Mike Prieto of Perrotta, Cahn and Prieto, P.C., the same law firm that represented Loretta Terhune, a woman who sued Houser after her father died in one of Houser’s facilities six months after entering it. Houser was ordered to pay the daughter $37 million.

Also named as defendants are Subacute Services Inc., SAS — Mount Berry Inc. and Mount Berry Convalescent Center LLC.

In the lawsuit filed Thursday evening in Floyd County Superior Court, Siegel claims that her husband, Solomon Siegel Jr., entered Summit Health and Rehabilitation Center on Three Mile Road in Rome on Oct. 3, 2008, for rehabilitation for a stroke. He was 79 at the time and had a history of stroke and diabetes, among other medical conditions, the lawsuit stated.

Prieto contends that Houser was still acting as part owner when Solomon Siegel died.

In 2007, the three nursing homes operated under Houser’s Forum Medical Group name closed, including what was then called Mount Berry Nursing and Rehabilitation Center on Three Mile Road.

The closings came after the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services informed the Forum Medical Group that it would no longer pay for care unless drastic improvements were made.

The Three Mile Road site later reopened as Summit Health and Rehabilitation Center.

The lawsuit contends the patient developed multiple ulcers that went untreated and became infected.

On Nov. 7, 2008, Solomon Siegel was taken to the emergency room with an elevated white blood cell count, according to the lawsuit. Nine days later he died.

Siegel is asking for punitive damages and liability.

Houser and his wife, Rhonda Houser, are both facing federal criminal charges after being accused of defrauding Medicaid and Medicare out of $30 million.

He is scheduled for a pretrial hearing in federal court in Rome on Tuesday.

Siegel contends that the nursing home staff failed “in numerous ways to provide the care, treatment and series that her husband needed in a skilful and non-negligent manner.”

She specifies that the nursing home failed to follow federal and state requirements for a long-term care facility and did not follow standard medical and nursing practices.

Read more: RN-T.com - Houser being sued again for alleged nursing home neglect

RN-T.com - Houser being sued again for alleged nursing home neglect

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