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Case Name DOJ Investigation of Banks-Jackson-Commerce Medical Center and Nursing Home NH-GA-0001
Docket / Court Never Filed ( No Court )
State/Territory Georgia
Case Type(s) Nursing Home Conditions
Attorney Organization U.S. Dept. of Justice Civil Rights Division
Case Summary
Pursuant to the Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act ("CRIPA"), 42 U.S.C. § 1997, the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice ("DOJ") conducted an investigation of conditions at the Banks-Jackson-Commerce Medical Center and Nursing Home ("BJC"), a public nursing home ... read more >
Pursuant to the Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act ("CRIPA"), 42 U.S.C. § 1997, the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice ("DOJ") conducted an investigation of conditions at the Banks-Jackson-Commerce Medical Center and Nursing Home ("BJC"), a public nursing home facility in Commerce, Georgia, operated by the Banks-Jackson-Commerce Hospital Authority on behalf of Banks County, Jackson County, and the City of Commerce, Georgia. The investigation resulted in a findings letter being sent to commissioners of the two counties and to the city's mayor on October 21, 2002. The letter stated that in September and December, 2001, DOJ and its expert consultants toured the facility, interviewed administrators, residents and staff, and reviewed medical charts and records. Private counsel, representing the facility or its governmental operators, aided the investigative effort, according to the letter.

The DOJ's investigation led it to conclude that certain conditions at BJC violated residents' federal constitutional and statutory rights. According to the DOJ's findings letter, residents at BJC suffered from the facility's (1) failure to protect residents from harm; (2) inadequate nutritional and hydration services; (3) failure to provide adequate skin care to prevent pressure sores; (4) failure to provide adequate restorative care, including continence, and physical and occupational therapy services; (5) improper restraint usage, particularly the use of bedrails; (6) inappropriate use of psychotropic medications and failure to provide adequate psychiatric/psychological/psycho-social services; and (7) failure to serve residents in the most integrated setting appropriate to their needs. This latter deficiency violated the Americans with Disabilities Act-imposed obligation to treat residents in the most integrated setting appropriate to their individual needs. See 42 U.S.C. § 12132 and 42 C.F.R. § 35.139 (J). For each of these categories, the letter provided examples of the shortcomings observed by the investigation.

The DOJ findings letter proposed remedial actions to remedy the deficiencies, invited the county to address the issues, and alerted the county to the possibility of a CRIPA lawsuit brought by the United States to compel remedial action.

Negotiations resulted in representatives of the DOJ and of the authority operating BJC signing a memorandum of understanding ("MOU") on or about June 16, 2004. The MOU set out numerous categories of improvement and standards for BJC. It expressly noted that BJC, by signing the memorandum, did not concede that it was a facility subject to the jurisdiction of CRIPA. The memorandum's labeled categories of "corrective measures" to be implemented included ones for (A) fall and accident prevention, (B) investigation of accidents and injuries, (C) use of psychotropic medication, (D) hydration, (E) aspiration, (F) timely assessments, (G) positioning, (H) activities program, (I) most integrated setting, and (J) federal statutory compliance. The MOU also included specific provisions for implementing, enforcing, and modifying its terms.

We have no post-MOU information about this matter.

Mike Fagan - 06/19/2008


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Disability
Integrated setting
General
Food service / nutrition / hydration
Incident/accident reporting & investigations
Individualized planning
Neglect by staff
Reassessment and care planning
Record-keeping
Rehabilitation
Restraints : physical
Medical/Mental Health
Bed care (including sores)
Dementia
Medical care, general
Medication, administration of
Mental health care, general
Wound care
Plaintiff Type
U.S. Dept of Justice plaintiff
Type of Facility
Government-run
Causes of Action Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act (CRIPA), 42 U.S.C. § 1997 et seq.
Defendant(s) Banks-Jackson-Commerce Medical Center and Nursing Home
Plaintiff Description U.S. Department of Justice
Indexed Lawyer Organizations U.S. Dept. of Justice Civil Rights Division
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 Private Settlement Agreement
Order Duration 2004 - 2007
Case Closing Year n/a
Case Ongoing Unknown
Docket(s)
No docket sheet currently in the collection
General Documents
Re: Investigation of Banks-Jackson-Commerce Medical Center and Nursing Home 10/21/2002
NH-GA-0001-0001.pdf | Detail
Memorandum of Understanding Between the United States and Banks-Jackson-Commerce Medical Center and Nursing Home, Commerce, Georgia 06/16/2004
NH-GA-0001-0002.pdf | Detail
Judges None on record
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Acosta, R. Alexander (District of Columbia)
NH-GA-0001-0002
Azar, Alex M. II (Georgia)
NH-GA-0001-0001
Boyd, Ralph F. Jr. (District of Columbia)
NH-GA-0001-0001
Brown Cutlar, Shanetta Y. (District of Columbia)
NH-GA-0001-0002
Deerinwater, Verlin Hughes (District of Columbia)
NH-GA-0001-0002
Duffy, William S. Jr. (Georgia)
NH-GA-0001-0001 | NH-GA-0001-0002
Johnson, Elizabeth (District of Columbia)
NH-GA-0001-0002
Defendant's Lawyers Frost, John Randall (Georgia)
NH-GA-0001-0001
Haygood, Daniel (Georgia)
NH-GA-0001-0001
Reddy, Kim (Georgia)
NH-GA-0001-0001
Stell, John (Georgia)
NH-GA-0001-0001
Other Lawyers None on record

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