Lawsuit charges substandard care at state nursing homes

The Associated Press
Wednesday May 09, 2001

LOS ANGELES — A self-described advocate for nursing home reform sued a national nursing home chain Tuesday for allegedly providing substandard care at nine facilities in California. 

Ila Swan accused Manor Care Inc. and ManorCare Health Services Inc. of failing to respond to call lights for help from patients and forcing patients to sit in their own waste. She also contended the company caused patients to develop bedsores due to unsanitary conditions, lack of movement and malnutrition. 

Swan, who says she became an advocate after watching the care her mother received at a Vacaville nursing home that was not run by ManorCare, wants a court injunction ordering the Toledo, Ohio-based company to comply with the federal Nursing Home Reform Act of 1987, an order to stop an advertising campaign she considers deceptive and restitution. 

“ManorCare nursing homes have purposely short-staffed their facilities and used our loved ones as profit units,” said Swan, who filed the lawsuit on behalf of herself and the general public. 

“When you are dealing with human lives, you can’t put profits first. These elderly are living in pain and indignity and we must do something to stop it.” 

A spokesman for the company said Tuesday he was unaware of the lawsuit and did not have an immediate comment. The case was filed in Los Angeles Superior Court. 

ManorCare runs facilities in nine California cities. Manor Care, Inc. describes itself on its Web site as the leading owner and operator of long-term care centers in the United States. The company runs more than 500 long-term care centers, assisted living facilities, outpatient rehabilitation clinics and home health care offices, according to the Web site.