AG Kane’s office: Golden Living lawsuit not retaliation

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – Attorney General Kathleen Kane’s office says it’s received more than 200 calls from people describing negative experiences with sparse staffing, dirty conditions, and food deprivation at Golden Living nursing homes.

“That kind of speaks for itself to just how serious an issue this is,” spokesman Jeff Johnson said.

Kane is moving forward with legal action against Golden Living, accusing the company of misleading consumers into believing it would provide quality care.

In a statement, Golden Living administrators said they are “confident that claims made by the attorney general are baseless and wholly without merit.”

“No doubt, this is an unfortunate result of Kathleen Kane’s inappropriate and questionable relationship with a Washington, DC-based plaintiff’s firm that preys on legitimate businesses and is paid by contingency fees,” the statement reads. “Golden Living also believes that this complaint is in retaliation for our challenging the attorney general’s authority in a pending lawsuit. We plan to vigorously defend the reputation of Golden Living and its employees.”

ABC 27 went through paperwork from that lawsuit filed three months ago. The petition from Golden Living challenges subpoenas from the attorney general about staffing levels, saying the AG, “improperly invades the department of health’s exclusive, regulatory jurisdiction.”

“The attorney general’s office has jurisdiction in this case because we’re tasked with watching over consumers’ interest,” Johnson said.

Johnson says this wasn’t retaliation, it was looking at staffing to investigate claims that the nursing homes were misleading consumers about quality of care.

“Some of whom are at their most vulnerable state going into these facilities with the expectation they were going to be receiving a certain level of care, and what we’re hearing is that in many cases that was just not the case,” Johnson said.

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