After the nursing home where Leann Sample worked was bought by private investors, it started falling apart. Literally.
Part of a ceiling collapsed on a nurse, the air conditioning conked out regularly, and a toilet once burst on Sample while she was helping a resident in the bathroom, she recalled in a court deposition.
“It’s a disgusting place,” Sample, a nurse aide, testified in 2021.
The decrepit conditions Sample described weren’t due to a lack of money. Over seven years, The Villages of Orleans Health & Rehabilitation Center, located in western New York near Lake Ontario, paid nearly $16 million in rent to its landlord — a company that was owned by the same investors who owned the nursing home, court records show. From those coffers, the owners paid themselves and family members nearly $10 million, while residents injured themselves falling, developed bedsores, missed medications, and stewed in their urine and feces because of a shortage of aides, New York authorities allege.
At the height of the pandemic, lavish payments flowed into real estate, management, and staffing companies financially linked to nursing home owners throughout New York, which requires facilities to file the nation’s most detailed financial reports. Nearly half the state’s 600-plus nursing homes hired companies run or controlled by their owners, frequently payin …