When Bain Capital acquired CRC Health Group in 2006, the plan was, as with all Bain’s investments, to make it more profitable. How this was to be achieved seems to be made clear by the wrongful death case of the death of 14-year-old Brendan Blum in one of its facilities, managed by subsidiary Aspen Education.
Brendan was a troubled boy with Asperger’s syndrome, whose aggressive behaviors were becoming worse after his father died. After four months in the facility, he woke up during the night shift complaining of stomach pain and defecated in his pants. He was moved to an isolation room, where he screamed in pain, vomited, and defecated himself until he died.
The monitors on duty never called the on-call nurse, and when they called the on-call supervisor, they only got a voicemail. According to company protocol, they did not have the authority to call 911. Another monitor explained the corporate culture: “They didn’t trust our judgment in emergency situations . . . If you’re working for $9.50 an hour on the graveyard shift, you don’t want to buck the system.” Aspen required only a GED for these employees, and gave them a CPR and safety course when hired.
Courts determined the monitors did not have enough autonomy to be considered negligent in the case, and the facility settled the wrongful death lawsuit out of court on condition of silence on the part of the victim’s mother.
This was only one of dozens of incidents associated with this for-profit care chain. You can read more about accusations against the Bain Capital owned company here, but it’s important to note that as investment firms get involved in medical facilities, be they nursing homes or troubled teen centers, they look to cut costs by hiring less qualified employees to perform what they consider menial labor–the monitoring and minding of your loved ones.
If you have lost a loved one to this type of institutionalized neglect, your lawsuit can target the one thing these investment firms value: profit, and hopefully show them that putting people’s lives in the hands of unqualified personnel is neither moral nor a good long-term profit model.
To learn more about your legal rights and options, please contact Robert W. Kerpsack, CO, LPA in Columbus, Ohio.