Cal Matters: From Maggots to Sex Abuse, Nursing Homes Sue California to Overturn Citations, Fines (December 6, 2021)
California nursing homes have filed more than 400 lawsuits since 2016 to appeal state citations and fines alleging poor patient care. Regulators downgraded nearly a third of sanctions involving a death. Advocates say the appeals system favors nursing homes. Advocates for the elderly contend that nursing home operators are spending huge amounts of money on legal fights that would be better spent on improving patient care, and that California’s willingness to settle some cases just gives them more incentive to do so.
“The labor and expense involved to go through superior court is extraordinary for the amount of money involved,” said Eric Carlson, directing attorney of Justice in Aging, an advocacy group.
“It doesn’t surprise me that the state chooses to settle some cases,” he said. “The burden of defending the citation is such that the state can make a cost-benefit analysis and choose to settle for pennies on the dollar.”