On September 27, 2022, residents of six area nursing facilities filed a class action suit against the Alden Group, one of the largest health care providers for older adults in Illinois, seeking to end chronic and intentional understaffing at the facilities. The complaint alleges Alden attracts thousands of residents to its facilities, and then systematically understaffs those facilities, leading to neglect, preventable injuries and illnesses, and dangerous and often grossly unsanitary living conditions for the residents. According to the complaint, Alden saves millions of dollars each year by refusing to hire sufficient staff to comply with legal staffing requirements and intentionally hiding it from regulators.
AARP Foundation, Levin & Perconti, HSPRD, and Equip for Equality are representing the class. The plaintiffs reside in Alden Lakeland, Alden Terrace McHenry, Alden Town Manor, Alden Heather Healthcare Center, Alden Princeton Rehabilitation and Health Care Center and Alden Village North facilities. The plaintiffs seek monetary, declaratory and injunctive relief to correct dangerous conditions that have resulted from understaffing at the facilities. Plaintiffs also seek to prevent Alden’s efforts to keep facility residents from holding the facilities accountable through court action. They allege that Alden’s neglect and use of unfair business practices to conceal the resulting harms violate the Illinois Nursing Home Care Act and the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act.
The complaint alleges Alden profits by operating its facilities with inadequate numbers of certified nursing assistants, licensed practical nurses, registered nurses, dietary staff and therapists and cites numerous examples of how residents were neglected, injured or suffered preventable health conditions when they were deprived of the services they needed. According to the complaint, most of the six Alden Chicago area facilities named in the complaint provided less than 50% of the necessary hours of nursing care for residents from 2018 to 2020 Alden Facilities should have provided more than 1 million additional nursing assistant hours, and 300,000 more hours of skilled nursing care from registered nurses and licensed practical nurses. The complaint alleges Alden staffing was significantly below even the absolute statutory minimum required nursing hours at every Alden facility named in the complaint during the time period from 2018 through 2020.
“The suit is necessary because when facility owners and operators flout their duties and cause harm to the most vulnerable, it is imperative that residents can hold them accountable in court through private rights of action for abusive and neglectful practices,” says HSPRD partner Charlie Wysong. “In this class action, the residents in these facilities are banding together to fight Alden’s cruel abuse. The problems at these facilities are systemic and intentional, and cannot be addressed in separate claims.”
If you or someone you know has concerns about the care provided in an Alden facility named in the lawsuit, please contact 312-566-0443 or AldenLitigation@equipforequality.org.