RBGG’s representation of plaintiffs in the ADA class action against Brookdale Senior Living – the largest assisted living company in the U.S. – was highlighted in an article in the East Bay Times on April 14, 2019, East Bay seniors, disabled residents sue nation’s largest assisted living provider. RBGG’s Gay Grunfeld is quoted in the article: “It is our view that Brookdale has failed to accommodate the disabilities of the named plaintiffs, has discriminated against them on the basis of their disability and has defrauded them of hard-earned money by not providing them the individualized services they were promised,” she said.
The lawsuit was also the subject of a segment on KQED Radio’s “California Report” on April 17. Grunfeld notes in the segment: “The lawsuit alleges that the rooms are not accessible, that many of them have sinks that a wheelchair can’t roll under, ledges that a wheelchair can’t roll over, the bathrooms are generally difficult to use for people in wheelchairs.” She also comments about the lack of trained staff to care for disabled residents and help them participate full in the activities of daily living: “That basically means that Brookdale is discriminating against person with disabilities in the way they run their facilities,” she said.
RBGG and co-counsel represent seven plaintiffs who have brought suit against the company, accusing Brookdale of financial abuse and widespread violations of the ADA. Brookdale is the largest provider of assisted living for senior citizens and persons with disabilities in the U.S. and its stock trades on the New York Stock Exchange. There are more than 5,000 residents in Brookdale’s 89 assisted living facilities in California. See Elderly Residents File Second Amended Complaint Against Brookdale Senior Living.
On January 25, 2019 a federal court in San Francisco ruled on behalf of plaintiffs finding that the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (“ADA”) applies to assisted living facilities operated by Brookdale Senior Living in California. The court also found that “Plaintiffs have sufficiently alleged a claim for discrimination based on the staffing at Brookdale facilities. Plaintiffs allege that those residents who are disabled are unable to receive the benefits of their residence—e.g., “assistance with bathing, dressing, brushing their teeth, toileting, incontinence care, and other hygiene assistance”—without sufficient staffing. Non-disabled residents do not require staffing to receive these benefits.” See the court’s order here: Stiner v. Brookdale – Order on Motions to Compel Arb, Dismiss, Strike, 1-25-19-1