MD Can Sue Nursing Home for Patient Dumping
Maryland’s highest court rules that the state can sue a nursing home for injunctive relief for improperly discharging residents in violation of the state nursing home resident’s rights law. State of Maryland v. Neiswanger Management Services, LLC. (Md., No. 28, Feb. 20, 2018).
The Maryland attorney general sued a nursing home management company, alleging the company engages in a widespread pattern of unlawful discharges from its facilities. The state claimed the nursing homes discharged residents without conducting discharge planning, without giving proper notice, and without communicating with families, in violation of the state nursing home resident’s rights law. According to the state, the company discharged residents who were about to apply for Medicaid in order to admit residents who were receiving Medicare.
The state asked for an injunction, prohibiting the company from discharging residents improperly. The company moved to dismiss the complaint. The trial court agreed that the allegations constituted a violation of state nursing home law, but ruled that the court couldn’t issue a broad injunction because the law only allowed injunctive relief for an individual resident. The state appealed.
The Maryland Court of Appeals reverses, holding that the injunction clause in the state’s nursing home law allows the state to seek injunctive relief for multiple residents. According to the court, “broad relief, including the ability to act on behalf of multiple residents and to enjoin company practices that violate [state nursing home law], is consistent with the Legislature’s intent, particularly if, as the [s]tate alleges here, a facility’s conduct potentially affects hundreds of residents.”
For the full text of this decision, go to: https://www.courts.state.md.us/data/opinions/coa/2018/28a17.pdf
David Wingate is an elder law attorney at the Elder Law Office of David Wingate, LLC. The elder law office services clients with powers of attorneys, living wills, Wills, Trusts, Medicaid and asset protection. The Elder Law office has locations in Frederick and Montgomery Counties, Maryland.