Class Certification Victory in Sunrise Elder Abuse Case
On November 16, 2021, a federal district court in Los Angeles certified a class of over 2,400 residents of a chain of assisted living facilities on claims of financial elder abuse and consumer fraud. The case alleges that Sunrise Senior Living, which owns and operates 43 assisted living facilities in California, routinely and knowingly understaffs its facilities, thus failing to provide the level of care that it promises and for which its residents pay substantial monthly fees. The lawsuit, filed in 2017, brings claims under California’s Consumers Legal Remedies Act, Unfair Competition Law, and elder financial abuse statute.
In the order, Judge Josephine Staton found that the plaintiffs had satisfied the requirements for certifying a class under Rule 23 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. The court also denied the defendants’ attempt to keep out testimony from the plaintiffs’ experts. The plaintiffs will now proceed toward trial on behalf of the certified class of residents. Class certification is typically one of the biggest hurdles for plaintiffs to overcome in a putative class action. Tuesday’s ruling represents a huge victory for the plaintiffs and elder rights advocates everywhere. EKO congratulates class counsel on a hard-fought and well-deserved victory. EKO attorney Julie Erickson serves as co-counsel on the case.
The case is Audrey Heredia, et al. v. Sunrise Senior Living, LLC, et al., case no. 8:18-cv-01974-JLS-JDE, and is pending in the Central District of California.