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Nursing home residents should pay attention to CEOs' legal past

New York City residents with aging parents should pay close attention to whoever is in charge of any care facility that their parents may call home.

Because nursing home neglect can happen anywhere, prospective residents and their families should pay attention to past actions of nursing home CEOs to determine whether they may have previously been in charge of nursing homes with patterns of abuse or negligence.

A current example of a CEO whose past has come under recent scrutiny is the CEO of Safe Haven Health Care. Safe Haven manages a number of assisted living centers throughout Idaho and has plans to expand and build a new facility. The CEO apparently settled three lawsuits involving everything from wrongful death to sexual assault and battery. The cases were brought against his former employer, another nursing home company.

In the first complaint, which was filed in 1997, an 85-year-old man died after he received an anti-psychotic drug that left him unable to swallow. According to court records, the man's family received an $18 million dollar award that was later reduced to $3.5 million in a post-trial settlement in 2006.

The most recent of the three cases, which was settled out of court, alleges that the CEO sexually harassed and assaulted a former employee.

It is important for future residents and their families to learn as much as possible about any nursing home prior to committing to a contract. Victims of nursing home neglect and their families have the right to seek legal representation if their loved ones are harmed.

Source: Idaho Mountain Express, "Court cases surface in senior-care debate," Katherine Wutz, March 28, 2012

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