LANCASTER – HCR ManorCare and several of its affiliates that were responsible for the operation and care of patients at ManorCare Health Services – Lancaster have responded to a lawsuit alleging the facility was not adequately staffed.

ManorCare said in an answer to a lawsuit filed against them by a former patient that the “plaintiff fails to state a cause of action” against them upon which relief can be granted, according to an Aug. 7 filing with the Court of Common Pleas of Lancaster County.

The lawsuit filed by former ManorCare Health Services – Lancaster patient Ruth Bear on Aug. 8, 2016, alleged that the defendants did not adequately staff and train their employees at the facility.

In their response to the lawsuit, the defendants said Bear’s injuries and illnesses were not caused by anything the facility’s employees did or failed to do. The defendants said they “acted within the applicable standard of care at all material times.”

In addition, the defendants said Bear’s lawsuit does not name specific employees responsible for the allegedly poor care she received at ManorCare. The defendants also argued that Bear does not raise any specific claims that would result in a judgment in her favor under the Pennsylvania Older Adult Protective Services Act and/or the Neglect of a Care-Dependent Person Act.

“Plaintiff has failed to state a cause of action for violations of state or federal statute, regulation or guidelines,” the defendants said in their response to the lawsuit.

Bear alleged that she suffered a deep-tissue injury to her heel, lost weight and became dehydrated during her stay at ManorCare. She also alleges that her hygiene was not properly maintained by the ManorCare staff.

According to Bear’s complaint, the “defendants made a conscious decision to operate and/or manage the facility so as to maximize profits at the expense of the care required to be provided to their residents, including Ruth Bear.”

“In their efforts to maximize profits, defendants negligently, intentionally and/or recklessly mismanaged and/or reduced staffing levels below the level necessary to provide adequate care to the residents,” the lawsuit said.

Bear also claimed that HCR ManorCare purposely brought patients into the facility who required an increased level of care, but “failed to provide the resources necessary” to properly care for these patients.

The plaintiff is seeking the greater of an amount in excess of compulsory arbitration limits and $50,000.

If any monetary damages are allowed, the defendants said they should not include any amounts that were charged for care but covered by Bear’s health insurance.

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