Sure, corporate advertising aims to make companies appear as credible and beneficial as possible. Marketing is, after all, a valuable resource used to differentiate services from what competitors offer. However, for a number of Golden Living Center facilities, the effort to appear top-of-the-line led the company to sorely exaggerate its services.
Now, after a lawsuit alleging deceptive marketing practices, the company will have to meet certain requirements if they desire to reopen locations in Pennsylvania.
Too good to be true
The Pennsylvania state attorney general’s office first launched a lawsuit against Golden Living Center in 2015. At the time, lawmakers expressed frustration with inflated claims the nursing home facility made during marketing. The company claimed to provide residents with high-quality care that paled considerably with the services its customers actually received. Additionally, investigations revealed the company was sorely understaffed, a strategy used to cut costs and boost profits.
Initially, the lawsuit failed to gain traction. Opposers said the allegations were nothing illegal under state law. However, in 2018, the state Supreme Court reinstated the case. Recently, a $6 million settlement ended the lawsuit for good.
Detriment to seniors
Even though exaggerated marketing claims may not appear to hurt anyone, seniors relying on Golden Living Center facilities faced increased risks of injury due to lackluster operating procedures. The settlement allows the AG’s office to regulate company information should Golden Living Center facilities, which have not operated in Pennsylvania since 2017, ever reopen in the state.
Source: Penn Live, “$6M deal to end Pa. attorney general’s lawsuit over Golden Living Center’s nursing home marketing claims,” Matt Miller, Sept. 10, 2021