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Nursing homes settle lawsuit

Lawsuit alleged a company's Southern California nursing homes were violating nurse-patient ratios.

February 28, 2007|By Chris Wiebe

GLENDALE — A Long Beach-based law firm has settled a class-action suit with the management of a nursing home with facilities in Burbank and Glendale. The suit alleged the company provided its patients with substandard care.

Attorney Stephen Garcia, whose firm the Garcia Law Firm filed the suit against Longwood management Corp., would not discuss the details of the settlement. The settlement was confirmed by a source in Garcia's law office. The source said that the settlement's terms are confidential.

A representative from Longwood's risk management department also refused to comment.

The class action suit, filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, alleged that 31 of its nursing homes in Southern California were understaffed, violating California's mandated nurse-to-patient ratios, Garcia told the Glendale News-Press in 2006.

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Alameda Care Center and Burbank Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center, both in Burbank, and Broadway Manor Convalescent Hospital in Glendale were cited in the complaint.

Rick Beno, former director of risk management for Longwood, disputed the claim in 2006, saying that the issues related to patient care are monitored and adjusted if necessary.

State law requires live-in care centers to provide patients with 3.2 hours of direct patient care per day.

The class action suit alleged that Broadway Manor Convalescent Hospital averaged 2.71 nursing hours per patient. In addition, the lawsuit that understaffing its facilities meant that bills to insurance companies like Medicare and Medi-Cal were for services that were never received.

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