Case: DOJ Investigation of Banks-Jackson-Commerce Medical Center and Nursing Home

Never Filed | No Court

Filed Date: 2001

Clearinghouse coding complete

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 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 findin…

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.

Summary Authors

Mike Fagan (6/19/2008)


Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Acosta, R. Alexander (District of Columbia)

Azar, Alex M. II (Georgia)

Boyd, Ralph F. Jr. (District of Columbia)

Brown Cutlar, Shanetta Y. (District of Columbia)

Deerinwater, Verlin Hughes (District of Columbia)

Duffy, William S. Jr. (Georgia)

Johnson, Elizabeth (District of Columbia)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Frost, John Randall (Georgia)

Reddy, Kim (Georgia)

Stell, John (Georgia)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Acosta, R. Alexander (District of Columbia)

Azar, Alex M. II (Georgia)

Boyd, Ralph F. Jr. (District of Columbia)

Brown Cutlar, Shanetta Y. (District of Columbia)

Deerinwater, Verlin Hughes (District of Columbia)

Duffy, William S. Jr. (Georgia)

Johnson, Elizabeth (District of Columbia)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Frost, John Randall (Georgia)

Reddy, Kim (Georgia)

Stell, John (Georgia)

Other Attorney(s)

Haygood, Daniel (Georgia)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

Re: Investigation of Banks-Jackson-Commerce Medical Center and Nursing Home

DOJ Investigation of Banks-Jackson-Commerce Medical Center and Nursing Home

Oct. 21, 2002 Findings Letter/Report

Memorandum of Understanding Between the United States and Banks-Jackson-Commerce Medical Center and Nursing Home, Commerce, Georgia

U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Georgia

June 16, 2004 Settlement Agreement

Docket

Last updated May 13, 2022

Docket sheet not available via the Clearinghouse.

State / Territory: Georgia

Case Type(s):

Nursing Home Conditions

Key Dates

Filing Date: 2001

Case Ongoing: No reason to think so

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

U.S. Department of Justice

Plaintiff Type(s):

U.S. Dept of Justice plaintiff

Attorney Organizations:

U.S. Dept. of Justice Civil Rights Division

Public Interest Lawyer: Yes

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: No

Class Action Outcome: Not sought

Defendants

Banks-Jackson-Commerce Medical Center and Nursing Home (Commerce), County

Case Details

Causes of Action:

Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act (CRIPA), 42 U.S.C. § 1997 et seq.

Special Case Type(s):

Out-of-court

Availably Documents:

None of the above

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Plaintiff

Nature of Relief:

Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement

Source of Relief:

Settlement

Form of Settlement:

Private Settlement Agreement

Order Duration: 2004 - 2007

Issues

General:

Food service / nutrition / hydration

Incident/accident reporting & investigations

Individualized planning

Neglect by staff

Reassessment and care planning

Record-keeping

Rehabilitation

Restraints : physical

Disability:

Integrated setting

Medical/Mental Health:

Bed care (including sores)

Dementia

Medical care, general

Medication, administration of

Mental health care, general

Wound care

Type of Facility:

Government-run