As an attorney who represents families whose loved ones are neglected, killed and abused in nursing homes, I personally see the care, or should I say lack thereof, provided to our elders. Fortunately, I’m not the only one who’s taken notice. Recently, the Pennsylvania Attorney General, Kathleen Kane, has taken an interest in this subpar care.

A complaint was filed in the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Courts against Golden Gate National Senior Care Center LLC (“Golden Gate”), a company that operates dozens of “Golden Living” nursing home facilities around Pennsylvania. In the complaint, it is alleged that Golden Gate left residents hungry and unkempt, and also participated in unfair trade practices. Specific allegations include a general lack of supervision, which led to incidents of residents being left unchanged and sitting in their own excrement, as well as falsifying records to indicate that services were performed when they had not been.

Jeffery Johnson, a spokesperson for AG Kathleen Kane, has stated that Golden Gate mislead consumers with their advertising, by giving the impression that they offered a certain level of care that, in fact, was not provided. Additionally, when investigations were performed by the Department of Health, Golden Gate would increase their staffing the day of for the purpose of misleading the inspections, according to Johnson. A representative from Golden Gate has denied the allegations and has alleged that Kathleen Kane is pursuing this lawsuit as retaliation and to obtain fees for a connected law firm.

While the outcome of this litigation remains to be seen, there is no doubt that it will draw attention to subpar care that may be present in more nursing home facilities. As an advocate for the elderly, I hope that through litigation, awareness is raised and the conditions that our elders may face in a nursing home improve.

If your family member has been killed, neglected or abused in a nursing home, we recommend that you consult with experienced legal counsel immediately.