California Nursing Home Chain Agrees To Pay Up to $15.5M Amid Physical, Sexual Assault Allegations

Following allegations of physical and sexual assaults, and neglect of patient medical care, California operator Mariner Health Care has agreed to pay up to $15.5 million in penalties, plus $2.25 million in costs, if unable to abide by terms related to patient safety and staffing levels.

Mariner Health Care neither admitted to nor denied wrongdoing, according to a statement issued by Alameda County District Attorney Pamela Price, and reported by the Mercury News. Mariner did not respond to a request for comment by the time of publication.

The state Division of Medi-Cal Fraud and Elder Abuse, along with the district attorneys of Alameda, Marin, Santa Cruz and Los Angeles counties in 2021 sued all 19 of Mariner’s facilities and the company’s corporate management for alleged unsafely discharging residents from facilities; five properties were also sued for understaffing facilities which led to resident harm.


Settlements filed last week with the state and county district attorneys is linked to the bankruptcy reorganization plan of two Mariner entities in Chapter 11 and will provide injunctive relief for a minimum of five years along with monitoring by an independent monitor for a minimum of three years.

Government authorities require Mariner to discharge patients in accordance with state and federal laws, have discharge plans in place and timely written notification of impending discharges, Mercury reported. 

Mariner must also report abuse and neglect, provide adequate staffing and abstain from providing false, inflated or misleading information to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).


The operator submitted false staffing numbers to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to inflate their rating on the Five-Star Quality Rating System, according to the office of California Attorney General Rob Bonta.

“Understaffing left residents vulnerable and the inadequate care resulted in unnecessary amputations, the spread of diseases such as lice and pests among residents, and a high number of unreported sexual assault cases, among other issues,” Bonta said in a statement.

In October 2021, a jury awarded nearly $10 million in punitive damages to five residents and five family members who died at Parkview Healthcare Center, a now shuttered Mariner facility, the Mercury report found.

Problems were rooted in staff shortages, the lawsuit claimed, and the jury found the facility and Mariner responsible for the deaths and abuse of patients, reports said.

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