ALBION, N.Y. (WIVB) — State Attorney General Letitia James is suing an Orleans County Nursing home.
The lawsuit claims the owners of The Villages of Orleans Health and Rehabilitation Center in Albion drastically cut staffing and, as a result, misused more than $18 million in funding for their own personal profit.
“I don’t want her to suffer anymore,” said Vicki Juckett, whose mother is a current resident of the facility. “There needs to be changes – not just for my mom, but for everyone.”
Family members of residents at The Villages described the horrific conditions their loved ones lived in.
“My husband was laying on a bed with no sheets, no blankets, no clothing. He had on a diaper and that’s how he laid in 14-degree weather,” said Margarette Volkmar. “This is one of the reasons I’m trying to help and do anything I can to stop this.”
James said during her tenure as AG, this is the worst nursing home her office has investigated.
“These individuals took advantage of our most vulnerable. They took advantage of New Yorkers, their families and their friends,” James said. “They gave themselves millions while so many were suffering at their hands.”
In 2020, nearly two dozen residents died from COVID-19 just within the first few months of the pandemic.
“The Villages’s owners forced staff to report to work even when they were sick, provided little to no personal protective equipment, failed to implement infection or isolation protocols and did not report positive COVID-19 cases resulting in unnecessary and preventable deaths,” James said.
The AG’s office is now calling for The Villages to remove its leadership, return the more than $18 million in misused funding and to hire a healthcare monitor to oversee that patient care improves.
“While no legal action can bring back the loved ones that are lost, we are holding these individuals accountable and taking significant measures to ensure this never happens again,” James said.
News 4 reached out to The Villages for comment on this lawsuit, but we have not heard back at this time.