Nurse listening to patient's chest with stethoscope

A long-term care operator told the McKnight’s Business Daily that it “vigorously denies” claims made in a class action lawsuit filed Wednesday alleging “chronic and intentional understaffing” at six of its Chicago-area skilled nursing facilities.

The lawsuit against the Alden Group was filed on behalf of nine unnamed people by the AARP Foundation; Hughes Socol Piers Resnick & Dym; Equip for Equality; and Levin & Perconti. The plaintiffs live at Alden Lakeland, Alden Terrace, Alden Town Manor, Alden Heather Healthcare Center, Alden Princeton Rehabilitation and Health Care Center and Alden Village North.

“For many years Alden has engaged in an ongoing practice of profiting from systematically and knowingly understaffing the Alden Facilities, causing dangerous, distressing, and grossly unsanitary living conditions for thousands of residents,” the complaint alleges.

No attorney of record was listed for Alden. A representative for the company told the McKnight’s Business Daily that “Alden vigorously denies any and all allegations of wrongdoing set forth by the plaintiffs and their attorneys and is confident the judicial process will vindicate Alden in this action.”

The complaint alleges that Alden staffing at all of the named facilities was “significantly below even the absolute statutory minimum required nursing hours” from 2018 to 2020 and that most of the six Alden facilities named provided less than 50% of the necessary hours of nursing care for residents during that time, according to a press release alleging “chronic and intentional understaffing.”

“The goal with this class action is to finally end the chronic understaffing at Alden facilities. It will also send a strong message to other nursing homes and assisted living facilities that they too will be held accountable for intentional understaffing,” attorney Steven Levin, founder and senior partner of Levin & Perconti, said in a statement.

“Alden has always maintained a policy of not discussing the specifics of any pending litigation so as to preserve the integrity of the litigation process,” the Alden spokesperson told the McKnight’s Business Daily. “Alden is committed to providing quality care, and the well-being of our residents has been and always will be our top priority.”

See additional coverage by McKnight’s Senior Living.