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California Nursing Homes Target of Class Action Suit [11/30/2006]
Twenty-six Horizon West health care nursing homes in California were named in a class-action lawsuit filed in Sacramento Superior Court alleging fraudulent business practices and inadequate staffing. Named in the suit are Foothill Oaks Care Center, Colonial Healthcare Centers, Grass Valley Care Center, Meadow View Manor, Lincoln Manor, Roseville Care Center, and Sierra Hills Care Center. The allegations in the complaint filed span from June 10, 2002 to June 10, 2006 and allege the defendants, Horizon West Inc. and Horizon West Healthcare Inc., failed to provide adequate nursing staff for patients.

According to the complaint, Colonial averaged 3.1 nursing hours per patient per day in 2004 and Foothill Oaks Care Center averaged merely 3.07 nursing hours per patient day during the year 2004."

The state of California requires a minimum staffing, per Health and Safety Code section 1276.5 of a minimum of 3.2 nursing hours per day. The complaint also states that the Colonial facility received 31 notices of deficiencies in 2005, 280-percent above the statewide average of 11 notices per year.

In addition to the allegation of understaffing, the suit also claims that the nursing homes received numerous notices of deficiencies. Colonial reportedly received 17 in 2005 and Foothill Oaks 31 in the same year. The suit claims that the statewide average is 11 notices per year.

The lawsuit seeks to represent any person that was under the care of any of the Nursing homes named in the lawsuit.

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