Robert Peirce & Associates Managing Partner Rob Peirce and Partner Robert Daley were recently quoted in a pair of articles discussing the recent federal indictments of five people affiliated with Brighton Rehab and Wellness Center in Beaver County, PA.
As reported by CBS News and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Pennsylvania announced earlier this month that five individuals and two for-profit nursing facilities were indicted on charges of health care fraud.
According to the DOJ press release, the indictment named Brighton Rehabilitation and Wellness Center and Mt. Lebanon Rehabilitation and Wellness Center, the facilities’ CEO and part-owner Sam Halper, and four other individuals. It accuses the nursing homes’ management of providing fraudulent staffing records to state and federal regulators and, under the direction of Harper and two regional directors, making false statements to increase Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements.
Criminal Indictment Add to Brighton Rehab’s Legal Woes
Brighton Rehab experienced one of the worst deadly COVID-19 outbreaks in the nation during the pandemic, when more than 80 residents at the facility died. Attorney Robert Daley and our firm currently represent families of residents who died or lived at Bright during the pandemic in civil lawsuits against the nursing home. These Brighton Rehab lawsuits raise a number of allegations, including negligence and failures to comply with government and medical industry prevention guidelines.
In an interview with the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Rob Daley commented on the newly unsealed indictment, noting that it:
“…mirrors what we’ve been saying all along in our civil cases: That Brighton not only systematically understaffed, but falsified staffing, and then, beyond that, increased acuity levels and exaggerated how sick its residents were so they could get higher additional, increased reimbursements.”
Daley noted that while the criminal indictment covers a two-year period before the pandemic and doesn’t explicitly connect allegations of understaffing to what transpired during the pandemic, Brighton’s staffing shortages in years prior to COVID clearly indicate that “when COVID hit they were systemically understaffed.”
Speaking to CBS News, Attorney Rob Peirce expressed similar sentiments felt by our firm and the families we represent:
"I must stress it is our belief that the dozens of dozens of victims that passed away would not have died if these facilities had done what they were paid by the federal and state government to do. And that's sickening.”
Our team at Robert Peirce & Associates knows that while these indictments may provide some semblance of justice to the families we represent in that those responsible must now face criminal liability, criminal proceedings are separate matters from civil claims. As such, we will continue to help our clients fight in civil court for the compensation they deserve, and will remain available to help others who suffered losses due to the alleged negligence and understaffing issues at Brighton.
If you have questions about a potential case and how our firm can help, call (844) 383-0565 or contact us online for a free and confidential consultation.