Protecting Our Seniors (and Taxpayers) – U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) Indicts Operators of 70 Facility Nursing Home Chain

Fraud in nursing homes is rampant and takes every imaginable form – from the small scale (a staff member who take narcotics from elders to sell on the street) – to the massive (systematic defrauding of the government).  With billions of government dollars flowing through our Nation’s nursing homes it is a hot bed for criminal activity.  Fortunately, whistleblowers and government investigators are able to work together to return funds to the government when there has been fraud or false claims for reimbursement by nursing homes.   Read More ›

Protecting Our Seniors – U.S. Government Takes Important Step to Eliminate Forced Arbitration in Nursing Homes

Senior advocates, including elder abuse attorneys have long voiced opposition to the continued use of forced arbitration provisions in nursing home contracts.  In a rule that becomes effective November 28, 2016, the U.S. Government’s Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (“CMS”) is prohibiting pre-dispute arbitration clauses in nursing home contracts.  This move is a critical protection for our Nation’s approximately 1.3 million nursing home residents. 

Although the rule will not help elders in assisted living or nursing home residents with contracts that pre-date the November 28, 2016 effective date of the rule, the importance of this move by CMC cannot be understated.  The full text of the final rule, which is over 700 pages in length can be found here.

Our firm, Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy, LLP represents elders in elder abuse and other types of litigation. We handle a wide range of cases under California’s elder abuse law, including cases involving serious injuries or death – as well as financial fraud.  

Protecting Our Seniors – Bedsores Are a Major Indicator of Neglect

Bedsores – also known as pressure sores, or decubitus ulcers – are extremely painful.  They can lead to death.  A bedsore is an injury to the skin and tissue caused by prolonged pressure on the skin.  To people without medical training the name may seem benign.  They are not.  A Stage 4 bedsore can be an open wound that extends to the bone. Read More ›

Do You Have Children and Shop at IKEA? If so, you need to be aware of IKEA’s major recall of dressers

29 million dressers are being recalled by IKEA for a tipping hazard that has led to the death of at least 6 children.  The recall covers dozens of models of dressers, although most news coverage has focused on the top selling Malm dressers – if you have bought any model dresser from IKEA you need to check the full list of recalled dressers.  IKEA dressers are ubiquitous in homes around the world, including in the United States.   Read More ›

10 Things You Should do if Your Parent is in a Nursing Home

As elder law attorneys we help seniors, dependent adults and their families when there has been serious injury or death or large losses of money.  Over the years we have worked with hundreds of elders and family members.  These are 10 take away points that we wished all families with loved ones in nursing homes (also referred to as Skilled Nursing Facilities (“SNFs”)) knew: Read More ›

American Consumers Recover $225 Million As Court Approves Settlements Against Automotive Parts Cartel

Late Wednesday afternoon a judge in Michigan approved $225 million in settlements for American consumers and businesses who purchased automobiles that were affected by an international automotive parts price-fixing cartel.  The Hon. Marianne O. Battani of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan ordered that the settlements should be approved, compensating American consumers for overcharges they paid as a result of the conspiracy. Read More ›

CFPB Works to Give Consumers Their Day in Court with Proposed Rule Banning Mandatory Arbitration Clauses in Contracts with Financial Institutions

May 5, 2016 marks an important day for consumers in the United States, as it is the day that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CPFB) issued proposed rules prohibiting banks and other financial institutions from inserting mandatory arbitration provisions in consumer contracts.  These arbitration clauses have grown in popularity as a tool by big-business to prevent consumers from banding together to pursue claims in court and also from pursuing claims as class actions.  Mandatory arbitration provisions give financial institutions a free pass to violate the law at the expense of consumers.  Banks know that they can make billions through sharp and illegal practices when they put a ban on class actions and court proceedings into their ‘take it or leave it’ contracts with consumers.  Big-business knows that few consumers would have the resources to pursue a claim in arbitration when only a few dollars, or few hundred dollars, or even a few thousand dollars are at stake.  This is especially true since class action bans prohibit consumers from joining together to remedy wrongs and is especially true when the mandatory arbitration clauses let the financial institutions pick which arbitrator to use, which rules apply, and which law applies. Read More ›

No Obstinacy, No Madness, and No Plaintiff “Pick Offs” Pre-Class Certification

The Ninth Circuit decided today that a named plaintiff in a representative action can still pursue class certification even if his individual claims are satisfied through a defendant’s “pick off” tactics and that a case cannot be deemed moot until the plaintiff is afforded a fair opportunity to show that class certification is warranted. Read More ›

Appellate Brief Filed in Surfrider Foundation’s Lawsuit to Restore Public Access to Martins Beach

Today, in the Surfrider Foundation’s litigation against the owner of Martins Beach, CPM filed its response brief in the appeal phase of the case.  After a full trial in 2014, Judge Barbara Mallach found the owner had violated the Coastal Act by blocking the public’s access to the popular surf spot just south of Half Moon Bay. Read More ›

Bargain Shopper Beware: the growing use of deceptive suggested retail prices

Everyone likes a good deal when shopping.  However, if you are one of the millions of Americans who make purchasing decisions based on a comparison of the sale price to the manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP) there is a high probability that you are not getting the deal you think you are getting.   Read More ›