Alleges Understaffed Alzheimer’s Care Units in North Carolina
Released by Matthew E. Lee, wbmllp.com
A class action lawsuit was filed April 25, 2016, on behalf of hundreds of North Carolina residents of Alzheimer’s and dementia care units owned and operated by Saber Healthcare Group. The suit claims Saber failed to “provide assisted living services that [met] the minimum needs of the residents” and Saber has a policy of understaffing its facilities.
Three Saber adult care homes are named in the lawsuit: Franklin Manor Assisted Living Center (Youngsville NC), Gabriel Manor Assisted Living Center (Clayton NC), and The Crossings at Steele Creek (Charlotte NC).
Recently, the North Carolina Division of Health Services Regulation (NC DHSR) investigated Saber’s facilities and found a number of violations of NC law, including repeated failure to meet state mandated minimum staffing requirements. The class action complaint details conditions identified during the state’s investigations of the Saber facilities, such as “residents  left to sit for hours, even days, in their own waste, not bathed for weeks, locked in or out of their rooms, not provided with food or housekeeping services, and not timely provided with medications if they were provided their medications at all.” Plaintiffs allege that these conditions are the result of Saber’s decision to understaff their facilities to increase profits without regard to its impact on elderly residents with Alzheimer’s and dementia.
“These are some of the worst conditions I have ever seen in long-term care facilities,” says plaintiffs’ counsel Steve Gugenheim, “and I’ve spent my career filing cases against adult care homes.”
The plaintiffs will seek an injunction against Saber requiring it to meet the basic needs of its residents. According to Matt Lee, co-counsel for plaintiffs, “We will ask the Court to permanently enjoin Saber from understaffing these facilities. These are our parents, grandparents, retired firemen, nurses, teachers, people who deserve respect and are owed care that affords them the dignity they’ve earned.”
Saber Healthcare Group is based in Ohio and owns and operates 83 skilled nursing and assisted living facilities in six states across the country, including Florida, Indiana, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Virginia.
Plaintiffs’ counsel are investigating potential claims on behalf of residents and families of residents in other Saber Healthcare Group facilities who have not received the care for which they contracted.
For more information about the Saber Healthcare Group lawsuit, please contact Matt Lee or Jeremy Williams at Whitfield Bryson & Mason LLP at 919.600.5000 or Drew Hathaway at Gugenheim Law Offices, P.C. at 919.836.5551. Additional counsel for Plaintiffs include Stephen J. Gugenheim of Gugenheim Law Offices, P.C. and Daniel K. Bryson and Gary E. Mason of Whitfield Bryson & Mason LLP. A copy of the complaint is available atfiles.www.wbmllp.com/news/Saber-Healthcare-Class-Action/Saber_Filed_Complaint.pdf.
The name of the case is Jeanne T. Bartels and Joseph J. Pfohl v. Saber Healthcare Group, LLC, et al, No. 16 CVS 382 (NC Super., Franklin County, filed April 25, 2016).