SAN DIEGO (November 30, 2011) — Luce, Forward, Hamilton & Scripps LLP, a prominent California law firm with a national reputation, is proud to announce that Partner Christopher Healey and the Lavender vs. Skilled Healthcare trial team were honored as the 2011 Consumer Attorneys of the Year by the Consumer Attorneys of California. The announcement was made Saturday, Nov.12, at the awards dinner during CAOC’s 50th Annual Convention in San Francisco.
In 2010, Healey – together with co-lead counsel Michael Thamer, and W. Timothy Needham and Michael Crowley of the law firm of Janssen, Malloy, LLP– obtained a $677 million verdict against Skilled Healthcare Group, Inc. and 22 nursing facilities it operates in California. The verdict was one of the largest nationwide in 2010 and the largest ever against a nursing home chain. Its outcome is already changing practices in the nursing home industry to improve the service for the elderly.
“The experts told us that minimum staffing is inextricably tied to decent care for these vulnerable residents,” Healey said. “It seemed clear to me that a class case was the only viable way to obtain compliance with the law. I only hope that the attention this verdict receives from the media and public will help further protect seniors and disabled adults in skilled nursing facilities.”
“As the first class action on nursing home understaffing to be tried to a verdict, this was a landmark case
that has caused nursing homes throughout California to re-evaluate their staffing levels,” said Niall
McCarthy, incoming president of Consumer Attorneys of California, who introduced the winners at the
awards dinner. “Through the work of these members, all California nursing home residents will be safer
because facility operators have been given a huge financial incentive to observe the law and have
adequate staffing numbers to meet residents’ needs.”
About Consumer Attorneys of California
CAOC is an organization of more than 3,000 attorneys who represent plaintiffs/consumers who seek responsibility from wrongdoers. In each case, the person the CAOC member represents faces an opponent with far more power and access to resources: polluters, governments, insurance companies, automobile manufacturers, and banks. CAOC members take cases they view as worthy, invest their own resources in developing and taking such cases to court, often over a several year period, and are paid only from those cases which are successful.
About Luce Forward
Founded in 1873, Luce, Forward, Hamilton & Scripps LLP is a full-service California law firm with offices in San Diego, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Carmel Valley/Del Mar, Orange County and Rancho Santa Fe. For more information, visit www.luce.com.
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