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Case Name People v. Villa Elizabeth - Butterworth NH-MI-0001
Docket / Court No. 98-04541-FH ( State Court )
State/Territory Michigan
Case Type(s) Nursing Home Conditions
Case Summary
In 1998, the Michigan Attorney General's Office launched an investigation into conditions at the Villa Elizabeth Nursing Home in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The Office filed criminal charges against the facility for neglect of a resident under the state's Vulnerable Adult Act, MCL 750.145m; MSA28.342A ... read more >
In 1998, the Michigan Attorney General's Office launched an investigation into conditions at the Villa Elizabeth Nursing Home in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The Office filed criminal charges against the facility for neglect of a resident under the state's Vulnerable Adult Act, MCL 750.145m; MSA28.342A (m), in the Kent County Circuit Court. Villa-Elizabeth had been charged criminally by the Attorney General's Office on February 18, 1998 with with one count of felony vulnerable adult abuse as a result of a dehydration death of a patient there in 1996.

On January 19, 1999, the Office entered into a Settlement Agreement with Villa Elizabeth and its parent corporation, Spectrum Health Continuing Care Group, to improve the quality of care by changing several policies at the facility. The court (Judge Dennis Kolenda) approved the Agreement the same day. The parties agreed that Villa Elizabeth would increase staff numbers and training, and in particular would discourage and report instances of abuse. They also addressed quality of and access to health care, including medical personnel, medication, hydration, and nutrition. The Agreement sought to improve the general level of care and attention patients received, especially in terms of nutrition, hydration, and necessary rehabilitative equipment. The Agreement, supervised by an independent monitor, was enforceable for two years.

The agreement included dismissal of the criminal charges against the facility, but stipulated that the charges would be dismissed without prejudice with the understanding that they could be reinstated in the event that the facility did not comply with the agreement. In addition, enforcement provisions in the agreement included the imposition of liquidated damages of $3,000 per day for each violation. It further provided that the costs of the monitor, compliance and any damage assessment would not be reimbursed by Medicaid.

We have only the Settlement Agreement and press release on file, so no further information is available in this case.

Laura Uberti - 06/18/2006


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
General
Assault/abuse by staff
Food service / nutrition / hydration
Neglect by staff
Record-keeping
Rehabilitation
Staff (number, training, qualifications, wages)
Totality of conditions
Medical/Mental Health
Mental health care, general
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
State Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Non-government for profit
Causes of Action State law
Defendant(s) Villa Elizabeth Nursing Home
Plaintiff Description Attorney General of Michigan on behalf of a resident of Villa Elizabeth complaining of neglect
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration 1999 - 2001
Case Closing Year n/a
Case Ongoing Unknown
Docket(s)
No docket sheet currently in the collection
General Documents
Quality of Care Agreement 01/19/1999
NH-MI-0001-0002.pdf | Detail
Attorney General Press Release 01/21/1999
NH-MI-0001-0001.pdf | External Link | Detail
Judges None on record
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Fraleigh, Michael J. (District of Columbia)
NH-MI-0001-0002
Defendant's Lawyers Gravelyn, Daniel R. (Michigan)
NH-MI-0001-0002
Other Lawyers None on record

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