Attorney General Bruce R. Beemer announced Thursday the filing of a civil lawsuit against a personal care home, previously operating in Mifflin County, and its owner for allegedly engaging in unlawful and deceptive business practices.
The lawsuit against Meadowview Manor Services, LLC, Empowered Investment Group, LLC and its owner, Michael W. Boggs, was filed jointly by the Office of Attorney General’s Bureau of Consumer Protection and Health Care Section. The lawsuit alleges violations of the Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law.
The lawsuit specifically alleges that Meadowview Manor and its owner failed to provide proper refunds to residents, misrepresented the facility’s refund policy and failed to keep the facility in a safe, sanitary and habitable condition.
According to the lawsuit, Meadowview Manor was a licensed personal care home that was located in McVeytown. The facility was home to more than 30 residents, all of whom were 60 years of age or older.
The lawsuit further states that Boggs, the owner, began having financial troubles toward the end of 2015 and into 2016. It is alleged that during this time, the facility’s insurance policies lapsed and vendors stopped making food deliveries due to non-payment.
Meadowview Manor and Boggs were allegedly in violation of numerous state Department of Human Services regulations. Additionally, the lawsuit asserts that Meadowview Manor and Boggs failed to maintain the facility in a safe and sanitary manner in violation of state law. In accordance with Pennsylvania case law, the defendants had a duty to provide residents heat in cold weather, a working sewer system, safe, working electrical systems, working smoke detectors and a safe, sanitary structure.
It is alleged that staff became increasingly concerned about the facility’s heating system and other safety concerns within the facility and contacted the Mifflin County Area Agency on Aging. On Jan. 4, 2016, the Department of Human Services conducted an inspection and found that the heating system’s boiler certifications were expired. The heating system was disconnected pending repairs.
The following day, Meadowview Manor relocated all of its residents to alternate residences and never reopened. It is alleged that residents have not been provided refunds for January room and board payments, which is required by their contracts with Meadowview Manor and the Department of Human Services’ regulations.
The lawsuit, filed in Mifflin County, in part requests the court determine the full amount of restitution to all consumers, as well as civil penalties, pursuant to the Consumer Protection Law. Each violation of the law is subject to a $1,000 penalty, which will increase to $3,000 for victims 60 years old or older.
This investigation commenced after the Office of Attorney General received a referral from the office of state Sen. Jake Corman. Attorney General Beemer thanked Sen. Corman and his office for assisting with this investigation.
Former residents of Meadowview Manor who feel that they have been victimized by the conduct alleged in the lawsuit are encouraged to file a complaint with the Office of Attorney General’s Bureau of Consumer Protection or Health Care Section. Complaints may be filed by visiting www.attorneygeneral.gov or by calling either 800-441-2555 or 877-888-4877.