The state of Florida has joined a $25 million class-action lawsuit against Beverly Enterprises Inc., the nation's largest nursing home chain. The lawsuit alleges the care provided to the nursing home residents was so poor that the state should get back the Medicaid money it paid on behalf of the patients.
This is the first time such an action has been taken in Florida, and possibly in the nation, say state officials.
Fort Smith, Ark.-based Beverly Enterprises owns 700 nursing homes in the nation, including 65 facilities in Florida. Nine of those are in Central Florida.
Tampa attorney Jim Wilkes originally filed the suit last year on behalf of William D. Olmstead III, who died after choking on a sausage in Manhattan Convalescent Center, a Beverly Enterprises facility in Tampa.