Bonita Regina et al. v. Hycare, Inc. et al.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is this lawsuit about?
  2. Who is a Class Member?
  3. What are the key Settlement terms?
  4. Who represents the Class?
  5. How do I receive a Cash Payment?
  6. How can I exclude myself?
  7. How can I object to the Settlement?
  8. When and where will the Court decide whether to approve the Settlement?
  9. How can I get more information?



  1. What is this lawsuit about?

    This is a class action lawsuit involving claims that Hycare, Inc., the licensees of the Facilities listed in Question 2 below, and others (collectively, “Defendants”) failed to meet California’s nurse staffing requirements between September 12, 2008 and November 1, 2015 (the “Settlement Class Period”).

    In a class action, one or more individuals called Plaintiffs file suit on behalf of others with similar claims, called “the Class” or “Class Members.” In this matter, Plaintiffs represent individuals (as well as their beneficiaries and survivors) who resided in one of the Facilities during the Settlement Class Period.

    Defendants deny Plaintiffs’ allegations. The parties have agreed to settle the lawsuit. The Court has preliminarily approved the Settlement.

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  2. Who is a Class Member?

    The Settlement Class includes Resident Class Members, which are all persons who resided in one or more of the California Facilities listed below at any time between September 12, 2008 and November 1, 2015 (the “Settlement Class Period”), and Successor Class Members, who are all persons named as a beneficiary in a will or living trust of a deceased Resident Class Member, or if there was no will or living trust and depending on the circumstances, may be the surviving spouse, domestic partner, child, parent, sibling, grandchild, grandparent or other relative of a deceased Resident Class Member.

    Resident Class Members include Current Residents (meaning persons who resided in a Facility on November 1, 2015) and Former Residents.

    Applicable Hycare Facilities:

    • Kyakameena Care Center, also known as Kyakameena Sanitorium
    • Elmwood Care Center
    • Red Bluff Health Care Center
    • San Leandro Health Care Center
    • Willow Pass Health Care Center
    • Jones Convalescent Hospital

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  3. What are the key Settlement terms?

    Settlement Fund:
    Defendants have agreed to pay $3,000,000 (the “Settlement Fund”), which will cover all of Defendants’ monetary obligations under the settlement, including the Cash Payments, the Service Payments, the Fees and Expenses Payment and the Settlement Administration Costs.

    Cash Payments:
    Cash Payments will be made to Eligible Settlement Class Members (any current residents of the Facilities plus any other Settlement Class Member that timely submits a claim form). The Cash Payments shall be calculated by dividing the total cash funds available for distribution to the Settlement Class by the estimated number of Resident Class Members. Thus, for illustration purposes, if the total cash funds available for distribution to the Settlement Class is approximately $1.5 million, and the estimated number of Resident Class Members is 7,500, then the estimated minimum Cash Payment to each Resident Class Member (or his/her successor) would be approximately $200.

    Injunction:
    Pursuant to a Court-ordered injunction, Enjoined Defendants will comply with applicable nurse staffing requirements and, in addition, ensure that the Facilities are staffed between 3.3 to 3.4 Nursing Hours Per Patient Day (NHPPD), or above. The Injunction will become effective on the date the Final Approval Order is signed and will remain in place for two and one-half years thereafter. A court-approved Monitor will oversee compliance with the Injunction. Defendants will pay all Monitoring Costs (up to $80,000).

    Releases:
    In exchange for these benefits, Settlement Class Members will be releasing all claims under Health and Safety Code section 1430(b), Title 22 California Code of Regulation section 72327, Health and Safety Code section 1599.1(a), Health and Safety Code section 1276.5, the Consumers Legal Remedies Act and California’s Unfair Competition Law, based on the acts and omissions alleged in the Action only.
    Claims for personal injuries, elder abuse, wrongful death, or Health and Safety Code section 1430(b) claims not expressly based on violations of Health and Safety Code sections 1276.5, 1599.1(a) or 22 CCR section 72327 are specifically excluded from the Lawsuit and settlement. By releasing these claims, you will be giving up important rights and benefits, so you may wish to consult with your own attorney regarding participation in the settlement.

    Other Terms:
    Subject to Court approval, the following payments will be made from the Settlement Fund: Service Payments not to exceed $6,000 to each of the two named plaintiffs, Settlement Administration Costs estimated at $100,000, attorneys’ fees not to exceed one-third of the total value of the Injunction and Monetary Payment (estimated to be approximately $2.0 million), litigation costs not to exceed $100,000. If funds remain after payments to the Settlement Class and the above-referenced items, monies may be distributed to a charitable or non-profit organization approved by the Court.

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  4. Who represents the Class?

    The Court has appointed Stebner and Associates, Law Offices of Michael D. Thamer, The Arns Law Firm, Dentons US LLP, and Janssen Malloy LLP to serve as “Class Counsel.”

    Any attorneys’ fees awarded to Class Counsel are paid from the Settlement Fund and not by individual Class Members. If you wish to hire your own attorney, you may do so at your own expense.

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  5. How do I receive a Cash Payment?

    if you are a Former Resident or Successor Class Member, you must complete and mail a Claim Form postmarked on or before May 20, 2016 to:

    Regina v. Hycare Inc. Settlement
    c/o Gilardi & Co. LLC
    P.O. Box 30203
    College Station, TX 77842-9915

    Successor Class Members must also submit a completed Probate Form and a copy of the Resident's Death Certificate. All forms are available in the Case Documents tab above. Please click here for assistance in determining the legal Successor in Interest.

    If you are a Current Resident, you will receive a Cash Payment directly without the need to submit a Claim Form.

    If the Court approves the settlement and you have submitted a timely and complete claim form you will be mailed a check. Before cashing the check, however, you should consider whether the receipt of Settlement funds will impact your eligibility for Medi-Cal or other benefits. Information regarding this issue is available here.

    You will be legally bound by all orders and judgment of the Court, and you will not be able to sue, or continue to sue the Defendants for the claims released.

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  6. How can I exclude myself?

    If you do not want to remain a Class Member, you may choose to exclude yourself from the Lawsuit by mailing an opt-out request postmarked by March 21, 2016 to:

    Regina v. Hycare, Inc. Settlement
    c/o Gilardi & Co. LLC
    P.O. Box 6002
    Larkspur, CA 94977-6002

    To exclude yourself and opt out, you must mail a written, signed statement to the Settlement Administrator (called an “Opt-Out Statement”) stating “I opt out of the Hycare lawsuit” or words to that effect which clearly express your desire to exclude yourself from this Settlement. You must also include your name, address, and telephone number.

    If you opt-out, you will not receive any settlement payment. However, you will retain your right to sue the Defendants for any claims you may have and will not be bound by any Court orders or judgments.

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  7. How can I object to the Settlement?

    If you wish to remain a Settlement Class Member but object to the proposed Settlement, you must notify the Court and Counsel for the Parties of your intent to do so. Any objections to the proposed Settlement must be in writing. You may also appear at the Final Approval Hearing, either in person or through an attorney at your own expense, provided you notify the Court of your intent to do so.

    All written objections, supporting papers and/or notices of intent to appear at the Final Approval Hearing must

    1. clearly identify the case name and number (Bonita Regina et al v. Hycare, Inc. et al, case number RG12647573);
    2. be submitted to the Court either by mailing to Department 21 of the Superior Court of California, County of Alameda, Administration Building at 1221 Oak Street, Oakland, CA 94612, or by filing in person at any location of the Superior Court, County of Alameda that includes a facility for civil filings;
    3. also be mailed to the law firms identified below; and
    4. be postmarked on or before March 21, 2016.
    Stebner and Associates
    c/o Kathryn A. Stebner
    870 Market Street, Suite 1212
    San Francisco, CA 94102
    (415) 362-9800
    Class Counsel
    Beach, Cowdrey, Owen LLP
    c/o Sean Cowdrey
    500 E. Esplanade Drive, Suite 1400
    Oxnard, CA 93036
    (805) 388-3100
    Defendants’ Counsel

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  8. When and where will the Court decide whether to approve the Settlement?

    The Court will have a Final Approval Hearing on April 15, 2016, at 9:00 a.m. to determine whether to approve the Settlement and Plaintiff’s application for fees and costs and the Service Payments.

    The Final Approval Hearing will occur in Department 21 of the Superior Court of California, County of Alameda, Administration Building at 1221 Oak Street, Oakland, CA 94612.

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  9. How can I get more information?

    The complete Settlement Agreement is available in the Case Documents tab above.

    The pleadings and other records in this litigation, including the Settlement Agreement, may be examined online on the Alameda County Superior Court's website, known as DomainWeb, at https://publicrecords.alameda.courts.ca.gov/PRS/. After arriving at the website, click the 'Search By Case Number' link, then enter RG12647573 as the case number and click 'SEARCH.' Images of every document filed in the case may be viewed through the 'Register of Actions' at a minimal charge.

    You may also view images of every document filed in the case free of charge by using one of the computer terminal kiosks available at the Courthouse located at 1221 Oak Street, Oakland, CA 94612, between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding Court holidays.

    If you have any other questions, please contact the Settlement Administrator at 1‑877‑255‑2662.

    PLEASE DO NOT CONTACT THE COURT.

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