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$1.6 Million settlement included fraud allegation.

Maxwell Manor nursing home admitted nursing home abuse, in settling a federal lawsuit. They admitted permitting routine sexual assaults, theft and improper medical care, as well as billing federal and state governments for care that was never administered, according to a story in the Chicago Tribune.

“It was an atrocious case,” said an attorney for the whistle-blowers, a facilities program coordinator and a former psychiatric rehabilitation services coordinator. “No one exaggerated the conditions.”

The lawsuit alleged that between October 1998 and June 30, 2000, Maxwell Manor residents were “routinely abused, neglected, mistreated, sexually assaulted, medicated as a form of punishment, unsupervised and otherwise untreated for their mental health, physical disability and substance abuse problems.”

The lawsuit also alleged that the home was operated in a physically hazardous manner including “bulging ceilings, crumbling walls, rodent and insect infestations, pervasive mildew and hazardous fire alarm and electrical systems.”

Federal and state authorities forced the closure of the nursing home after finding unsafe, unsanitary and hazardous conditions several months after the lawsuit had been filed.

Remember stories like this when “tort reformers” want to limit patients rights to sue nursing homes for abuse, neglect and fraud.

I have added this belated story to my blog to encourage nursing home employees to come forward to report abuse, neglect and fraud. The whistle-blowers in this case divided over $300,000 between them.

If you work at a nursing home that you know is violating the residents rights, not performing as they should, or committing fraud in the billing practices, contact me for an analysis of your circumstances and a discussion of your options.

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