OAKLAND, Calif. (Legal Newsline) – A putative class action filed in September by senior citizens against a residential care facilities chain alleging fraudulent practices that deprived them of needed care and exposed them to risk of injury as part of a scheme to maximize revenue is on its way back to a California state court.
The case, Lollock, et al v. Oakmont Senior Living, had been moved from Alameda County Superior Court following a notice of removal filed Oct. 16, moving the case to the U.S. District Court for California's Northern District. That move was reversed Oct. 31 when District Court Judge Jeffrey S. White granted a stipulation in the case and remanded it back to Alameda County Superior Court.
The clerk's notice of the case being remanded back to Alameda County was filed the following day.
White's decision followed several motions filed in the case, including motions to dismiss the complaint and to strike class action allegations filed by Oakmont Senior Living on Oct. 24.
The lawsuit was filed Sept. 13 in Alameda County Superior Court against Oakmont Senior Living by named plaintiffs Donald Lollock, Zareen Khan, Frank Pearson, Jo Ella Nashadka and Jane Burton-Whitaker, as part of the proposed class in the action. Lollock’s wife Kathleen is listed at guardian ad litem on his behalf.
The suit claims defendants in the case, Oakmont Senior Living and Does 1-100, engaged in a scheme to defraud seniors, persons with disabilities and family members.
The alleged scheme worked by "falsely representing to all residents in its admissions contracts that each resident will be provided the case services (through facility staff) that the resident need as determined by the resident assessment conducted by facility personnel," the lawsuit said.
"This is false and misleading because the results generated by Oakmont's resident assessment system are not used to set staffing at each facility. Instead, as a matter of corporate policy, Oakmont allocates expenditures for staff at each facility based on predetermined and statistic budgets designed to maximize revenue."
Maximized revenue being the goal, Oakmont's facilities lack sufficient numbers of trained staff to provide care promised to its residents, the lawsuit said.
"Oakmont conceals and fails to disclose this material fact to current and prospective residents," the lawsuit said.
With few staff members to look after Oakmont’s elderly residents, residents often do not receive the care they require and have been promised, the lawsuit states. Residents have been found on the ground, sitting in their own waste and at least one suffered an unexplained injury, according to the lawsuit.
And Oakmont spokeswoman told another news outlet when the case was initially filed that one of the plaintiff law firms had brought cases against other large California assisted living providers, including Brookdale Senior Living, Atria Senior Living and Aegis Living.
Plaintiffs' counsel listed in the case are Stebner and Associates in San Francisco; Schneider, Wallace, Cottrell, Konecky Wotkyns in Emeryville, California; Dentons US in San Diego; Arns Law Firm in San Francisco and Janssen Malloy in Eureka, as well as Callahan, California attorney Michael D. Thamer.
In October, the state's Department of Social Services began an investigation following evacuation of its Santa Rosa facilities ahead of wildfires in the area that burned down Oakmont's Villa Capri building.