Tag Archives: Brius

Brius accused of understaffing nursing homes at public hearing

California’s largest nursing home company could be facing a campaign to wrest control of its two Marin County homes after workers, residents and the families of residents testified that both homes are chronically understaffed and under-resourced.

“Given what we’ve heard, we feel they’re bad actors,” said Matt Myres, who chaired a Workers’ Rights Board hearing March 4 to look into the homes operated by Brius Healthcare.

The six-member board, convened by North Bay Jobs with Justice, issued several preliminary recommendations, including:

  • Increasing staffing
  • Raising caregiver wages to at least $15 an hour
  • Ensuring that caregivers have reliable schedules to reduce worker turnover

Final recommendations, expected to be released within a few weeks, will also consider how to go about bringing in a new operator for the nursing homes.

“We know that the community here needs the facilities for folks to receive good quality patient care,” Myres said. “But we also would like to see Brius’ license rescinded.”

WRB 2/4/18
Stanton Richardson talks about finding his father dangling from his bed at the understaffed Novato Healthcare Center.

Brius, which controls 1 in 14 nursing home beds across California, and 1 in 5 beds in Marin County, already finds itself squarely in the crosshairs of state officials.

The California State Auditor is reviewing the company’s dealings with dozens of other companies controlled by its owner, Shlomo Rechnitz. The California Department of Public Health has blocked Brius from taking over six nursing homes since 2014, citing its dismal patient care record. And former Attorney General Kamala Harris moved to block the company from taking over 19 additional homes, writing that Rechnitz was “a serial violator” of nursing home rules.

The situation is already dire in Marin County where Brius controls Novato Healthcare Center and San Rafael Healthcare and Wellness Center, whose employees are represented by the National Union of Healthcare Workers.

Both homes have been cited by state regulators for understaffing over the past year. During the hearing, residents and their loved ones said that both homes often rely on temporary caregivers who don’t have the same dedication as full-time staff.WRB 2/4/18


Ian Minto, the resident council president at the 181-bed Novato home, said he recently fell in the bathroom and needed more than an hour to pull himself up after no one responded to his cries for help.

When he later explained what had happened to a temporary nurse on duty, “She never looked up from her phone,” he said.

The actual employees do care about the patients,” Minto added. “They have a sense of humor. You can tell they are trying to do their best even though they are overworked and understaffed.”

He added, “I think things in Novato are only going to get better if management comes in touch with what employees need, which are better pay and benefits.”

Stanton Richardson testified that when he came to visit his father one afternoon, he found him tangled in his bed unable to help himself, while temporary staffers had neglected to check on him.

Richardson said the Novato facility, where annual staff turnover has topped 30 percent in recent years, was desperately in need of more caregivers earning enough money to keep them in their jobs.

“You may have two staff members caring for 15 to 20 people and they are overwhelmed,” he said. “I see it in their faces. They are very tired.”

Maria Martinez, a former nursing assistant at Brius’ home in San Rafael, said understaffing prevented her and other caregivers from giving patients the help they needed.

“A lot of times I had patients who were depressed and they were asking for their family, but I couldn’t sit down or hold their hands and talk to them because there was no time,” she said.

Martinez added that with 15 residents to care for, things inevitably fell through the cracks. “A lot of times we didn’t have time to brush their teeth … or wash their faces,” she said.

WRB 2/4/18

Bernice Dominguez, a housekeeper in Novato, testified that she sometimes was asked to check on patients even though she wasn’t credentialed to do that work. “It’s really very hard to listen to the cries of patients who need help,” said Dominguez, who makes $11.58 an hour after working at the facility for 15 years.

Rather than taking steps to keep long-term workers, Brius appears to be trying to oust them. The company recently changed workers’ schedules, preventing them from having the same days off every week. The constantly changing “floating” schedule makes it hard for people who have second jobs and families, said Benjamin Maldanado, a housekeeper in San Rafael.

“They not only broke their word to us,” Maldando said of Brius, “they are making us break our commitments to our families.”

The workers were supported by State Sen Mike McGuire, a Democrat from Healdsburg, who issued a statement saying that “Brius uses its patients as pawns” and that “quality is not part of its business model.”

Brius failed to present testimony at the hearing despite the panel’s invitation.

In speaking for the board, Myres said it was clear Brius needed to restore consistent schedules for its caregivers and boost their wages.

“Raising wages serves the interest of both care facilities since it would reduce employee turnover, prevent understaffing, save money by not having to retrain as many employees, and save on recruitment of new employees,” Myres said. “Most importantly it would improve patient care.”


Florida nursing home tragedy should be “a call to action” in California

Despite their nursing home being immediately across the street from a hospital with a fully functioning air conditioning system, eight residents of Hollywood, Fla. died earlier this month from stifling heat after Hurricane Irma knocked out the facility’s power supply. Could a similar situation happen at one of California’s 1,200 skilled nursing facilities?

“Authorities are still investigating what happened in the Hollywood nursing home tragedy, but this appears to be more about neglect and poor judgment than natural disaster,” National Union of Healthcare Workers President Sal Rosselli said. “California has stronger nursing home regulations on the books than Florida, but the state often struggles to enforce the rules and like Florida we have nursing home operators more focused on profits than patient care.”

California’s largest nursing home operator, Brius Healthcare, for example, has repeatedly ignored state regulations. Former California Attorney General Kamala Harris labeled Brius owner Shlomo Rechnitz “a serial violator” of nursing home rules in a 2014 emergency motion she filed seeking to prevent Brius from taking over 19 nursing homes in Southern California. That same year, Brius, which operates about 80 nursing homes in California, was tagged with three times as many serious deficiencies per 1,000 beds as the statewide average, according to a Sacramento Bee investigation.

Last year, the California Department of Public Health rejected Brius’ bid to permanently operate five nursing homes, citing records that the company had been cited for 386 serious patient care violations over the previous three years. Nevertheless, the state has not stopped Brius from continuing to operate those five homes as well as the 19 homes in Southern California under provisional licenses.

A report earlier this year, first posted to Brius Watch, documented how in 2015 Brius nursing homes paid $67 million to 65 firms controlled by Rechnitz and his relatives in exchange for various services, including a design and construction firm operated by Rechnitz’s son-in-law. Another one of the firms operates a private jet used by Rechnitz and his family members.

“The tragic deaths of frail seniors in Florida should be a call to action for all of us here in California to make sure that nursing home operators are running safe facilities and that regulators punish them swiftly and strongly when they put lives in danger,” Rosselli said.

Brius faces state audit

Brius will be the subject of a California state audit looking into the company’s business dealings with other firms owned by Brius CEO Shlomo Rechnitz and his family members.

By a vote of 12-0, the state’s Joint Legislative Audit Committee approved the audit Wednesday at the request of State Sen. Mike McGuire and Assemblymember Jim Wood.

Both legislators represent Humboldt County, where Brius controls every nursing home. Last year, the lawmakers successfully fought Brius from closing three of its five homes in the county without giving into the firm’s demand for higher reimbursements for Medi-Cal patients.

“Through that process we learned a lot about Brius, its ownership structure and business operating procedures,” Wood said in a prepared statement. “(That) compelled us to better understand the impact and appropriateness of what are called related-party transactions.”

State Sen. Mike McGuire and Assemblymember Jim Wood

Brius, which controls one of every 14 nursing homes beds in California, received over $507 million in Medicare and Medi-Cal funds in 2015 – more than 80 percent of its total annual revenue. An analysis of state data by the National Union of Healthcare Workers found that during the same year, Brius paid over $67 million to 65 companies controlled by Rechnitz or his relatives.

Meanwhile, over the past year, the California Department of Public Health has blocked Brius from taking over five nursing homes citing its poor patient care track record and fined one Brius home in Humboldt County $160,000 for violations stemming from failing to properly staff the facility.

“We commend State Sen. McGuire and Assemblymember Wood for requesting this audit,” NUHW President Sal Rosselli said. “With thousands of the California’s frailest seniors living in Brius homes, the state has an obligation to determine whether the company is spending taxpayer money as it was intended – to care for its residents.”

The California state auditor will examine data Brius reported to the Department of Public Health, Department of Health Care Services and Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development. The audit will also review current protocols for capturing transactions between companies with the same owner as well as the appropriateness of the transactions in order to ensure that services provided are fairly priced.

Several reports have already questioned whether Brius homes may be overpaying for rent and other services from Rechnitz-owned firms. For example, the North Coast Journal reported the following in 2016:

The disclosures include a section dubbed “related party transactions,” which describes financial interactions between parent companies and subsidiaries. Think of it as a kind of conflict of interest statement. In 2015, Eureka Rehabilitation and Wellness Center paid $42,000 to Boardwalk Financial Services, LLC for “administrative services.” The company employs Rechnitz as a consultant. It also paid $864,894 to lease the property. Who owns the property? Rechnitz. Eureka Rehabilitation and Wellness Center also paid $110,204 for medical supplies to TwinMed Medical Supplies and Services, owned by Shlomo Rechnitz and his twin brother, Steve. And it paid $47,663 to SR Capital, LLC, which lists Rechnitz as its managing member. Altogether, in the 2014-2015 fiscal year, as Rockport/Brius was playing a financial game of chicken with Partnership Healthcare and refusing to take in vulnerable seniors and people with disabilities, it managed to shunt more than $4.6 million back into companies affiliated with Shlomo Rechnitz.

While, on paper, the company may have lost money, Rechnitz still managed to profit. The amount he took in for lease payments alone in 2015 on the five properties — more than $3.5 million — was easily enough to cancel out Brius’ “unsustainable” combined loss of almost $1.5 million from the company’s Humboldt County holdings that year.

“As good stewards of state resources we must understand how Brius Healthcare and affiliated companies receive and invest Medi-Cal dollars,” McGuire said in a prepared statement.

Wood added, “This audit will investigate the inner workings and interrelated business relationships that exist in this industry and determine whether changes need to be made to protect the use of public funds for this vulnerable population.”

NUHW represents workers at two Brius homes in Marin County. Maria Martinez, who has worked as a nursing assistant for 27 years at the Brius-owned San Rafael Healthcare and Wellness Center, told Audit Committee members Wednesday in Sacramento that Brius “cut staffing levels, basic supplies and resources” when it took over the San Rafael home in 2012. “The quality of care for our residents has gone way down,” she said urging them to approve the audit. “We are understaffed almost every single day.”

Following this week’s approval of the audit request, the California State Auditor will now assign a team of auditors to carry out the investigation. The audit results will be published in 2018.

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Brius nursing home cited in resident death

State regulators have slapped a Brius nursing home with a severe patient care citation for leaving a 59-year-old obese, mentally ill resident in a prone position on her bed where she was later found dead.

Vernon Healthcare Center – one of the most troubled nursing homes run by Brius CEO Shlomo Rechnitz — received the Class A citation in March 2017, according to a California Department of Public Health citation obtained by Brius Watch. The agency has not yet announced financial penalties for the violation, which is the second most severe class of citations available to state regulators.

Investigators found that the nursing home repeatedly failed to follow protocol in caring for the patient, who experienced a “behavioral episode” the day before her death during which she began screaming and fell off her bed three times.

The facility failed to have a nurse assess her sudden deterioration or alert her doctor as required. Investigators also determined that staffers “did not receive appropriate training to manage a behavioral episode of a mentally ill, obese resident.”

Moreover, administrators at the home were unaware that the death merited an investigation and autopsy. The investigators wrote:

“When asked if the Director of Nursing knew that the resident was found not breathing and pulseless in a prone position, she answered, “Really?” Who told you that?”

The facility’s medical director told investigators he failed to investigate the death or request an autopsy because he was never informed that the resident was lying in a prone position when she was found unresponsive.

The Vernon facility is no stranger to major violations. Two years ago, the CDPH slapped it with a Class A citation and $20,000 fine for failing to provide adequate supervision and assistance to a nursing home resident that was at high-risk for falls.

That same year, the agency also fined it $60,000 for another Class A citation for failing to provide adequate supervision and assistance to a nursing home resident with a history of wandering behavior.

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Nursing home magnate loses bid to transfer case from Humboldt County

A Humboldt County judge denied Brius CEO Shlomo Rechnitz’s bid to transfer jurisdiction of a wrongful death lawsuit to Los Angeles, rejecting a Rechnitz’s claim that he couldn’t get a fair trial in Humboldt.

Judge Timothy Cessna ruled that Brius failed to show that a Humboldt jury would show bias towards the company that controls every skilled nursing facility in the county, the Eureka Times-Standard reported.

Rechnitz, a Los Angeles billionaire, had argued that “negative” reports of the company’s failed attempt last year to close three of its five nursing homes in the county and potentially force residents to transfer far from their families, would prevent him from getting a fair trial.

Local officials had accused him of using the planned closures as bargaining chips to force authorities to boost his Med-Cal reimbursements. Rechnitz’s lawyers even noted that the North Coast Journal had ranked his closure ploy as Humboldt County’s top “Dick Move” of 2016.

The case was filed by relatives of  Ralph Sorensen who was admitted to Eureka’s Seaview Rehabilitation and Wellness Center, where he developed a pressure sore that became infected and ultimately led to his death last year.

The Sorensen case is just the start of Rechnitz’s legal troubles in Humboldt. He is facing several lawsuits including one filed on behalf of a man whose sister alleges he was discharged from a Eureka nursing home and dumped at a hotel where he died four days later and another filed on behalf of a man who also died after developing pressure sores that became infected.


California ruling threatens Brius expansion

Brius has mounted an 11th-hour challenge to a ruling by California regulators that denied the company licenses for five nursing homes and effectively has halted the company’s rapid expansion across the state.

Last July, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) denied Brius licenses to operate the facilities citing the company’s 386 serious patient care violations over the previous three years. Brius lost its first appeal in December after it failed to provide to provide legal documents ahead of deadlines, triggering a “Default Decision” against it.

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On May 17, attorneys for Brius asked a judge with the Office of Administrative Hearings and Appeals to overturn the Default Decision and reinstate its appeal. A ruling is expected later this year.

The facilities in question are:
Anaheim Point Healthcare and Wellness Centre
Brookdale Healthcare and Wellness Centre
Chico Heights Rehabilitation and Wellness Centre
Chico Terrace Healthcare and Wellness Centre
River Valley Healthcare and Wellness Centre

Brius is currently operating all of them while it exhausts its appeals process. Should the ruling stand, it could have major ramifications for the company, which has emerged over the past decade as California’s largest nursing home operator, accounting for one-in-14 beds.

Brius’ expansion plans were challenged in 2014 when California Attorney General Kamala Harris filed an emergency motion in federal bankruptcy court seeking to block the company from taking over 19 nursing homes. In court papers, she called Brius CEO Shlomo Rechnitz  a “serial violator” of nursing home rules.

If the CDPH’s denial is upheld, Rechnitz may find himself unable to win approval for new nursing homes in California. In denying his applications last year, state regulators noted that 38 of Brius’ 386 patient care violations put patients in “imminent danger” of death or serious harm. Altogether, 265 of the 386 violations were at a scope and severity level of F or higher, indicating more serious and widespread violations.

There is no reason to think that the CDPH would soon become more amenable to the prospect of Rechnitz taking over additional facilities.

In fact, Rechnitz may have reached the same conclusion as he has already begun expanding into Nevada and Texas.

Brius faces new lawsuit amid state fines for understaffing Humboldt county facility

A Humboldt County woman is suing Brius Healthcare and its CEO Shlomo Rechnitz for elder abuse after she fell multiple times in a Brius-operated nursing home, fracturing her arm, neck and wrist.

The lawsuit, filed earlier this month on behalf of Marie White, alleges that Rechnitz endangered the health of White and other residents by intentionally understaffing the Eureka Rehabilitation and Wellness Center to boost profits.

White, according to the lawsuit was one of several patients referenced in a recent California Department of Public Health inspection that resulted in a $160,000 fine against the 99-bed nursing home in part for failing to provide adequate staffing to prevent falls. The report quoted an unnamed worker who said company officials increased staffing levels when state inspectors were present in an apparent effort to conceal the facility’s under-staffing.

In court papers, White’s attorney, Stephen Garcia of the firm Garcia, Artigliere, Medby & Faulkner, alleged that the home admitted White knowing she suffered from dementia and was prone to falling, but nevertheless failed to provide the care she needed.

White fractured her left arm last year after falling when walking unassisted to the bathroom. The nursing home “concealed” the injury and White’s subsequent 24-pound weight loss from her relatives, according the lawsuit.

White fell again on Jan. 26, 2017 while “left completely unattended” in the bathroom “striking her head on the toilet and sustaining a fractured neck and wrist,” Garcia wrote in court papers.

White was one of several patients who suffered preventable falls at the under-staffed facility, according to citations issued by state investigators on Feb. 28, 2017.

  • A resident suffered eight falls in less than four months, and had to be taken to a hospital for treatment.
  • A resident fell six times from May through December of 2016. In one instance, the resident was “found in the bathroom sitting on the floor wet with urine.”
  • A resident suffered six falls from August through October of 2016 including one that resulted in a broken nose.
  • A resident fell six times from May through November of 2016, including one fall that required stitches to close a head wound.

After interviewing several caregivers and residents, investigators from the California Department of Public Health determined that the facility had “failed to ensure adequate nursing staff to provide quality care.”

One caregiver told investigators that the facility “needed to have more staffing on the B Wing, because there were lots of confused residents who required more help and care.” Another caregiver said the facility had reduced staffing on the B Wing and that because of short staffing he “could not do things for the residents as he wanted to do (i.e brush their teeth, wash their hands, give a bed bath…)”

One resident told an investigator she sometimes had to wait up to 30 minutes for a staffer to help her go to the bathroom.

With the arrival of state investigators, however, staffing levels suddenly increased. A caregiver told investigators that she typically had 12 patients per shift, but had only eight residents that week “because the state was there.”

Investigators analyzed the “routine care tasks” performed by Certified Nursing Assistants during their work shifts, and learned that caregivers said they were assigned up to three times the amount of work that could possibly be completed during a shift.

However, the Brius nursing home administrator insisted there was no staffing problem, even though she acknowledged that one Certified Nursing Assistant had to care for more than 15 residents on a night shift. Questioned about the facility’s action plan for staffing, she told investigators there was no plan “because the facility did not have staffing problems.”

In court papers, Garcia insisted the home was under-staffed as part of Brius’ “plan to cut costs at the expense of the residents…” The under-staffing, he added, “was designed as a mechanism to reduce labor costs and … resulted in the wrongful withholding of required services to many residents of the facility, and most specifically, Marie White.”

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Brius workers fight back against under-staffing

Caregivers at two Brius-operated nursing homes in Marin County sent a message to CEO Shlomo Rechnitz that he must stop under-staffing his homes and start treating his employees and patients with dignity.

More than 30 caregivers and their allies picketed Sunday outside the San Rafael Healthcare and Wellness Center. Patients and nearby residents thanked workers for taking a stand, and Marin County Supervisor Damon Connolly manned the picket line along with representatives of the Marin Association of Public Employees.

San Rafael caregivers, who are represented by the National Union of Healthcare Workers, have gone more than three years without a contract. During that period state regulators have cited the facility for stocking expired food, admitting residents during a Norovirus outbreak and supplying so few towels and wash cloths that caregivers have had to dry patients with paper towels and bed linens.

Nevertheless, Brius’ recent “last, best and final offer” included cuts to dental benefits and no provisions to increase staffing levels. Caregivers earlier conducted a two-day strike to protest under-staffing that jeopardized patients’ safety and care. Brius management responded by locking out workers the following day.

NUHW-represented workers at the Novato Healthcare Center took their own stand against Brius’ chronic understaffing. With state regulators expected to inspect the facility last week, they informed management in mid-April that they would not work any voluntary overtime from April 29 to May 6.

A nursing home shouldn’t depend on its employees to work extra shifts simply to meet minimum staffing levels. But we’re told that Brius had to bring in at least 20 temporary certified nursing assistants just to keep the nursing home running without its workers completing overtime shifts.

Brius even offered $165 bonuses to work overtime shifts, but workers stood firm.

Brius ordered to reinstate illegally fired workers with backpay

A judge has ruled that Brius Healthcare Services violated federal law when it fired pro-union caregivers at its Marin County facilities just two days before a 2015 vote to unionize.

On April 20, Judge Amita Baman Tracy ordered the Brius-operated Novato Healthcare Center to reinstate five caregivers (a Licensed Vocational Nurse and four Certified Nursing Assistants) who were illegally fired. The judge also ordered Brius to pay them tens of thousands of dollars in back salary and benefits. Four of the five caregivers were active supporters of joining the National Union of Healthcare Workers (NUHW).

In her 31-page ruling, Tracy, an administrative law judge, found that two nursing home administrators did not give credible testimony about the events leading up to the firings. Tracy also found it “troubling” that the facility administrator discussed allegations against the workers with an anti-union consultant hired by Brius to defeat the unionization effort.

“This ruling is a victory for workers who put their heart and soul into caring for frail seniors even as they face cruel and retaliatory treatment by an employer that puts profit above the well-being of patients,” NUHW President Sal Rosselli said. “It’s time for management to finally honor its employees’ hard work and dedication with a contract that provides safe staffing and a living wage.”

The ruling is the latest black eye for Brius, which has faced increased scrutiny from federal and state authorities for widespread patient care violations. In 2014, then-California Attorney General Kamala Harris sought to block Brius from purchasing 19 nursing homes, calling Brius CEO Shlomo Rechnitz a “serial violator” of nursing home rules. Last year, the California Department of Public Health blocked Brius from permanently operating five additional homes, noting that the company had amassed 386 patient care violations over a three-year period.

Most of Brius’ approximately 80 nursing homes are not unionized, and Brius management made clear they didn’t want Novato’s caregivers to join NUHW, which also represents workers at a Brius facility in San Rafael, Calif.

Managers at the 181-bed Novato facility handed out anti-union fliers and forced employees into captive meetings with four anti-union consultants. In one case, a manager illegally interrogated a worker about his union leanings, the judge found.

The anti-union campaign climaxed shortly before the scheduled vote when Brius officials illegally fired five caregivers, including four who were vocal leaders of the unionization drive. After Brius fired them, NUHW filed an unfair labor practice complaint arguing that the firings were an illegal attempt to intimidate workers from voting to join the union.

In ruling for NUHW, Tracy found ample evidence that the firings were illegal and politically motivated.

In addition, Tracy found that the facility’s administrator, Darron Treude, and another manager, Teresa Gilman, did not give credible testimony. Treude “testified nervously, evasively, and provided vague and contradictory answers,” Tracy wrote. “Gilman’s testimony simply appeared implausible,” she added.

“It feels so good to know that we won, and that Brius will pay a big price for trying to ruin our careers and reputations just because we supported the union,” former Novato worker Angel Sabelino said. “I’m grateful that NUHW fought so hard for us and sent a message to Brius that they can’t get away with trying to silence their workers.”

Tracy ordered Brius to do the following:

1)    Offer employment to all five employees it wrongly terminated.

2)   Compensate them for pay and benefits they would have received had they not been fired in Oct. 2015.

3)   Remove any reference of the incident from the workers’ personnel files.

4)   Post a notice inside the Novato facility declaring that the National Labor Relations Board has found that Brius “violated federal law” and will “not interrogate you about your union sympathies” or “restrain, or coerce you in the exercise of your rights under … the National Labor Relations Act.”

Despite management’s illegal acts of intimidation, workers at the 181-bed facility voted to unionize in 2015 and are fighting to improve staffing levels and establish better pay and benefits so the facility can recruit and retain a stable, experienced workforce.

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Humboldt County Brius home hit another wrongful death lawsuit

A Brius-owned nursing home in Humboldt County evicted a 63-year-old patient suffering from dementia and left him alone in a hotel room where he died four days later, according to a lawsuit filed last month by an attorney for the man’s sister.

Alan Dewey had been living for nearly two years at the Eureka Rehabilitation & Wellness Center, which state regulators fined $160,000 earlier this year for substandard care that stemmed from chronic understaffing. The nursing home also has been named in two other wrongful death lawsuits since November.

Dewey was admitted to the  home in late 2014, according to his complaint filed by Amelia F. Burroughs of the law firm Janssen Malloy LLP. He had suffered a “significant brain injury in 1975 and a stroke, which affected his vision.” He also had “a seizure disorder and multiple complex medical problems.”

On Oct. 14, 2016, the nursing home “deposited” Dewey at the Clarion Hotel in Eureka with his medications, “a half-gallon of milk, instant noodles, and Velveeta macaroni and cheese,” according to the complaint, which described his hotel stay this way:

“Dewey could not see well enough to attend breakfast in the lobby of the hotel; could not see well enough to sort and take his medications appropriately, and could not see well enough to sort and take his medications appropriately, and could not see well enough to use the key card to enter his room or navigate his surroundings.”

He was found dead inside his hotel room on Oct. 18.

At the time that Dewey was allegedly dumped at the hotel, Rechnitz had announced his intention to close the Eureka nursing home and two others in Humboldt County in a move local officials said was a naked ploy to pressure them into once again boosting his reimbursement rates.

Dewey’s sister, Sherri McKenna, told Courthouse News she thinks her brother was discharged as part of Rechnitz’s effort to clear the nursing home given “the onerous requirements for resident transfers.”

The lawsuit names Brius CEO Shlomo Rechnitz, and several of his corporate entities as defendants for wrongful death and dependent adult abuse. “The facts are horrific,” Burroughs told the news outlet. “The corporate entities running the facility made decisions that I believe really hurt (Dewey).”

Burroughs’ firm is also representing the families of Ralph Sorensen and Randy Kruger. They both died after developing Stage IV pressure ulcers that became infected, according to lawsuits that also name Rechnitz among the defendants.

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