Paul J. Klaassen
is Founder, Chairman and CEO of Sunrise Senior Living. He is currently
Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees of The Trinity
Forum and was previously its Chairman. Mr. Klaassen founded Sunrise with
his wife Terry in 1981 to introduce a new model of eldercare based loosely
on Dutch assisted-living models in which his grandmothers had lived. Known
for their award-winning architecture and resident-centered services, Sunrise
communities provide a full range of personalized senior living services.
principles of service include encouraging independence, enabling choice,
preserving dignity, celebrating individuality, and nurturing the spirit.
has over 360 communities either open or under construction in the United
States, U.K., and Canada. The company went public in 1996 and is listed
on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: SRZ).
Klaassen founded the industry trade association, "ALFA"
Living Federation of America in 1990. He
served as its Founding Chairman from 1990-1994 and
presently serves on its board. http://www.alfa.org/
In addition to his service with
the Trinity Forum, Paul serves on the boards of The Hudson Institute, The
United States Chamber of Commerce, The Institute for American Values, and
the Ethics and Public Policy Center. Chairman of the Board of Merritt Academy,
a private school in Northern Virginia President of the Netherland-America
Foundation Member of the Advisory Committee for the Harvard Medical School
Department of Health Care Policy A graduate of the Georgetown University
School of Foreign Service with a degree in International Finance, Paul
also studied at The University of Utrecht in The Netherlands. Paul and
his wife, Terry have three children, Christin, David, and Lindsey, and
live in McLean, Virginia.
says Ordan will replace Klaassen as CEO
CALVIN B. JOHNSON, M.D.,
SECRETARY OF HEALTH
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA
Health & Welfare Building
7th & Forster Streets
Harrisburg, PA 17120
Home Health Complaints
800-222-0989 Secretary of Health
717-787-6436 Office of the Physician
General 877-724-3258 Policy Office 717-787-4525 Legislative Liaison Office
717-783-3985 Office of Communications
717-787-1783 General Counsel
Gerald Radke, Deputy Secretary
Marketing Director for Eli Lilly)
Richard Lee, Deputy
Secretary for Quality Assurance
“Ensuring the safe delivery
of quality healthcare services is a hallmark of the Department of Health,”
said Secretary Johnson. “I am confident Dick Lee will continue his
strong leadership in ensuring that Pennsylvanians in our health care facilities
are cared for in a safe setting and receive the quality of care they all
The Department of Health has
the duty and power to protect the health of the people. It has authority
to enforce all statutes pertaining to public health for the prevention
and suppression of disease and injury. The Department also works closely
with local health agencies in cities, counties and municipalities.
The Department was created
by the Act of April 27, 1905, P.L. 312, and modified subsequently through
the Administrative Code of 1929. Of recent significance, Act 87 of July
2, 1996, P.L. 518, removed the requirement that the Secretary be a physician;
the Act also established the new position of Physician General.
Department Mission and Core
The Department's mission
is to promote healthy lifestyles, prevent injury and disease and assure
the safe delivery of quality health care services for all Pennsylvanians.
Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General Strawberry Square Harrisburg, PA 17120 Phone: 717-787-3391 Fax: 717-783-1107
November 2004 we had contracted Sunrise At Home Assisted Living Services
of Greater Philadelphia. By late February of 2005 we learned that the Sunrise
resident CNA living with our Mother had contracted the Flu and was forced
to work for 3 days in the home without relief from Dotti Larson, RN who
was the Sunrise registered nurse "supervising and overseeing" the case.
During March 2005 the Sunrise resident CNA was carried out of the client's
house "paralyzed" by EMS and taken to Lankenue Hospital ER while claiming
a "drug interaction" occurred with her blood pressure medication and
over-the-counter medication" she had taken. Sunrise Senior Living
Corporate Headquarters never bothered to drug screen the Sunrise At Home
resident CNA even though they had ample probable cause. We now know
that the resident CNA's "drug interaction" resulting in her "paralysis"
and EMS transport to Lankenue's ER was in fact her overdosing on crack-cocaine,
as there was an eyewitness who later reported it to us.
to Janice Staloski, PA Health Department, Director Home Health, only an
inspection of Sunrise At Home's Conshohocken, PA office and their records
would take place in their investigation process and that no action could
or would be taken to address the license violations or the condition of
the client's home.
the PA Attorney General's side of the complaint, Senior Agent Sherron was
assigned to mediate an extension. It was made clear by Linda Williams and
Agent Sherron that no "enforcement" action would be taken in this case
and that there would be an effort made to grant an extension to allow for
a more orderly transition of care. Agent Sherron was able to secure a tentative
verbal agreement from Sunrise's in-house General Counsel, Michael Stein
on May 2, 2005 to extend the contract until May 23, 2005 but at the last
minute the nefarious Michael Stein reneged. A bar complaint was filed against
Mr. Stein with the Virginia State Bar Counsel and several disciplinary
board members on May 4, 2005. http://www.vsb.org/committees/boards/disciplinary.html
May 5, 2005 Sunrise Senior Living sent Dotti Larson RN and Melissa CNA
manager to client's home. A domestic violence incident was "fabricated"
between our Mother and the resident CNA in order to cancel the contract
as early as possible and get out from underneath the case. We were given
2 choices via telephone, PA Adult Protective Services or an area hospital.
The hospital was chosen.
we arrived we found our home had been severely neglected for 6 months.
The vacuum cleaner was never used. I had placed a pen mark on the bag before
I left in November 2004 and it was the same bag, unused. The
house was positively filthy. All the bathrooms were laden in urine
and feces. The Sunrise resident CNA's room looked like a pig sty. Filth
everywhere. It took us 16 hours of hard labor to clean up the house
and make things safe, sanitary and presentable when Mom was to come home
from the hospital.
later discovered via an eyewitness account that the Sunrise resident
CNA was engaged in the usage of crack cocaine and that Dotti Larson RN,
Melissa, Donna Manning and so many others at Sunrise At Home
and Sunrise Senior Living did absolutely nothing to stop it and even
attempted to cover it up.
I called Sunrise At Home to inform them of the next wave of complaints
relative to the condition of the home and the drug abuse by the Sunrise
resident CNA, "Donna Manning and Company" contacted the Whitemarsh
Township Police and filed a false police report pertaining to the content
of the communication,
which was simply a notification of further complaints
May 25, 2005 I received a call from Joseph Roynan, Montgomery County Human
Services Director. http://www.montcopa.org/hhs/
Mr. Roynan was mortified by my description of the events. Mr. Roynan assured
me that Sunrise's contracts with Montgomery County were already in the
process of being canceled as a result of my complaints and others they
had received. Mr. Roynan apologized to me and wished me a "pleasant stay"
in Montgomery County.
called Linda Williams, Deputy Counsel at the PA Attorney General's Health
Care Section but she and others at Tom Corbett's office were intent
upon ducking my calls. Tom Corbett and his irascible subordinates knew
first hand that we had to come to Pennsylvania to correct this nightmare
without any help from them whatsoever and that we successfully busted these
carrying healthcare licenses". I contacted Corbett's main
switchboard number and demanded to go down the chain of command so that
I would have accurate data for this web page. I later spoke to my Mother's
estate counsel who told me that the PA Attorney General's office called
him to tell him they wanted to "arrest" me for that call. Linda
WIlliams and her pals at the PA State Attorney General's office and Dick
Lee and Gerald Radke at the PA Health Department lied to investigators
at Troop H and filed a false police report in a pathetic effort
to silence this website.
an attempt that carries a capitol offense charge:
18, U.S.C., Section 1001 Fraud
and False Statements
or entries generally
(a) Except as otherwise provided in this section, whoever, in any matter
within the jurisdiction of the executive, legislative, or judicial branch
of the Government of the United States, knowingly and willfully -
(1) falsifies, conceals, or covers up by any trick, scheme, or device a
(2) makes any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or
(3) makes or uses any false writing or document knowing the same to contain
any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or entry; shall
be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 5 years, or both.
I promised Linda Williams, Deputy Counsel, in one earlier telephone call
prior to our arrival in Pennsylvania,
"The PA Health Department's (Gerald
Radke and Dick Lee) and the PA Attorney General (Tom Corbett's) Health
Care Section's negligence and malfeasance in this eldercare abuse case
will be on the web for all to see."
Pennsylvania State Police Troop H 8000 Bretz Drive Harrisburg, PA 17112 Phone: 717-671-7500 FAX: 717-787-2948
we finally arrived back home after securing competent care for our Mother,
there was a voice mail message waiting from Trooper, Brian Krause, 717.671.7537
requesting that I return his call for what sounded like an interrogation.
I called his commanding officer, Corporal Golleti, got his voice mail and
essentially told him "This better have something to do with how the
State Troopers are going to prosecute Sunrise At Home and Sunrise Senior
with Trooper Brian Krause on June 13, 2005 confirmed that a false police
report was filed by PA Health Department employees (Dick Lee and Gerald
Radke), in direct retaliation for this website. It is noteworthy to mention
that Gerald Radke is a former Marketing Director for Eli Lilly and fully
engaged in the "revolving-door". What we have here is a false police report
and a conspiracy effort by the PA Health Department (and the PA Attorney
General's Office) to exploit the services of the Pennsylvania State Police
Troop H, like it's some sort of personal gestapo, in a wildly unconstitutional
scheme to harass, intimidate and chill protected activities under the 1st
and 14th amendments, disseminating this information via the internet.
Whitemarsh Township Police 616 Germantown Pike Lafayette Hill, PA 19444 Phone:(610) 825-6530 Fax: (610) 825-5078
May 27, 2005 I received a call at my Mother's home in PA from Officer
Richard Zadroga, Badge #53 email@example.com
(since promoted to Detective status) Whitemarsh Township Police Department,
616 Germantown Pike, Lafayette Hill, PA 19444. Officer Zadroga, interrogated
me and chastised me severely for attempting to contact Sunrise At Home
of Conshohocken on May 25, 2005. "You were supposed to contact Jill
Bartlett!" My response was "Officer Zadroga, you have no right
to aide and abet Sunrise At Home Assisted Living employees in their conspiracy."
You don't have all the facts in this case. I advise you get your facts
straight before you go around accusing innocent citizens of harassment
charges, who are trying to protect their elderly parents from abuse and
neglect. Just who's side are you on in the fight for better eldercare and
greater oversight?" Officer Zadroga was zealous and adamant in severing
my open lines of communication (unlawful prior restraint) with Sunrise
on my mother's behalf, even though these monsters (Sunrise At Home) continued
to control my mother's assignment of benefits for her senior home health
care insurance policy. I asked Zadroga what he was planning next and
he boasted to me that he was deciding: "Whether or not I am going to arrest
you, take a report or issue a Citation."
June 22, 2005 I received a Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Non-Traffic Citation-Summons,
that was forwarded to me via US MAIL by the new caregiver living with
my mother. Richard Zadroga's citation was even improperly served,
it to my Mother's address in Pennsylvania via regular 1st Class mail. Zadroga's
"Harassment" Citation-Summons was also totally non-specific, stating
that the "victims" were the "Employees of Sunrise". The Charge: "The
Defendant has repeatedly contacted the employee's workplace with no legitimate
reason. The Defendant was notified by certified mail."
was nothing less than intriguing to see "Donna Manning
and Company" at Sunrise At Home Assisted Living so desperate to
silence this website ("my Mother's internet voice") that they were willing
to commit multiple felonies, subsequently filing a false police report
for Harassment, PA Title 18, 2709, a, 3, with the Whitemarsh Township
27 Assault, Title 18, § 2709. Harassment (a)
Harassment.--A person commits the crime of harassment when, with intent
to harass, annoy or alarm another, the person:
engages in a course of conduct or repeatedly commits acts which serve no
False reports.--A person who knowingly gives false information to any law
enforcement officer with the intent to implicate another under this section
commits an offense under section 4906 (relating to false reports to law
June 28, 2005 a private criminal complaint was filed with the Montgomery
County District Attorney's Office http://www.montcopa.org/da/against
Sunrise At Home Assisted Living of Conshohocken, PA and Sunrise Senior
Living of McLean, VA employees, providing full details to the Pennsylvania
authorities of Sunrise's tangled web of lies and deceit.
June 30, 2005 the case was assigned to Detective Marsh, who agreed to do
an investigation "We will get to the bottom of this and find out what
happened." Later that day, mid-afternoon, I received a call from
Officer Richard Zadroga, Whitemarsh Township Police Department, acting
all demure, stating "I am withdrawing the citation" and "A letter
will come to you from the Whitemarsh Township Police and the District Court
indicating that the charge is withdrawn." I asked Zadroga point-blank
why he wrote the citation and his best answer still was, "You called Sunrise."
said, "Yes I did Officer, that's my job as my Mother's Power of Attorney,
to act as her voice, advocating on her behalf in these matters."
of Charges Montgomery
County, PA District Attorney's Response
DENVER -- Relatives
of six residents at an assisted living center in Centennial have filed
a lawsuit claiming neglect killed one resident and jeopardized the lives
of others. The plaintiffs in the suit against the Sunrise Assisted Living
facility include state Senate President John Andrews, R-Centennial, whose
mother-in-law was a resident. The lawsuit was filed Thursday in Denver
District Court. Families say their loved ones were left in wet diapers
for hours and not bathed for months, the suit says. Residents suffered
falls and were deprived of adequate water and food at the facility, which
was poorly staffed and often filthy, according to the lawsuit. Jamison
Gosselin, spokesman for Sunrise in Washington, D.C., said he knew nothing
about the lawsuit and had no comment. The lawsuit charges Sunrise with
the wrongful death of Catherine Fuerst, who lost more than 40 pounds during
her eight months at Sunrise and weighed 87 pounds when she died June 7.
The lawsuit charges she died of starvation and dehydration.
Assisted Living Fails to Deliver on Promises to Alzheimer's Patients" http://www.nursing-home-abuse-resource.com/news/virginia.html May 25, 2004 The nation's largest chain
of assisted living, Sunrise Senior Living, has 370 assisted living operations,
including 27 in the state of Virginia. Although it advertises special services
for dementia patients, including security systems, increased supervision
and "safe and stimulating" surroundings at around $200 a day, licensing
records show about 80 violations related to seriously mentally impaired
residents from 2000 through early this year. An internal email written
early in 2003 by the head of the Virginia state licensing division called
problems in general at Sunrise facilities "very bad, high risk and inexcusable."
Another administrator said that the chain had made improvements, but also
pointed out problems caused by aging security systems and inaccurate assessments
of residents' impairments. According to that administrator "our greatest
concern is the number of recent wandering incidents."
Love, a consumer advocate who works with the Consumer Consortium on Assisted
Living, can personally attest to what a problem this can cause. During
the mid 1990s she worked as an administrator for Sunrise Assisted Living's
Arlington, Va., facility. She resigned after she realized she couldn't
run a safe residence under the corporation's strict rules and staffing
constraints. Her No. 1 complaint was that the caregivers had such little
training. "You can't just throw [staff members] into a room and show them
a tape," she says. "That's not meaningful training."10
Things Your Assisted-Living Facility Won't Tell You September
Sunrise Senior Living Inc.
Brighton Gardens of Bellaire
4620 Bellaire Boulevard Bellaire, TX 77401
and Chief Executive Paul Klaassen said in a statement that the company's
concern is for the safety of our residents, and we are shocked and saddened
that this event occurred during our evacuation."
•According to the bankruptcy
filing, the company employs three full-time and six part-time bus drivers,
who receive no salary but are paid 35 cents per mile to drive.
•In the last 2 1/2 years,
Global Limo had five drivers put "out of service" during random inspections
in Texas, New Mexico and Missouri, according to the Federal Motor Carrier
•And the company had a driver
safety rating of 97, meaning it is worse than 97 percent of all companies.
The tragic chain of events
began about 3 p.m. Thursday, when officials with Brighton Gardens, a 115-bed
assisted living and nursing home in Bellaire, began loading residents onto
two buses provided by Global Limo with the help of Bellaire firefighters.
Some people had been picked up by family members earlier in the week after
weather forecasts suggested Rita could devastate the area.
Bus driver charged in
hurricane evacuation deaths case The driver of a bus that
caught fire and killed 23 passengers who were being evacuated from the
path of Hurricane Rita is facing criminal charges for each of the passengers’
deaths. On Friday, Oct. 14, Juan Robles Gutierrez, a Mexican citizen, was
charged with 23 counts of criminally negligent homicide for allegedly contributing
to the deaths of his passengers, the Houston Chronicle reported. Gutierrez’s
bus, which was carrying 45 senior citizens from a retirement home in Bellaire,
TX, caught fire and exploded on Interstate 45, just as thousands of residents
in the Houston and Galveston area fled their homes in preparation for the
approaching hurricane. Authorities believe a mechanical failure in the
brakes caused the fire, which spread into the passenger area and may have
exploded when it reached some of the passengers’ oxygen tanks. According
to The Associated Press, a motorist told investigators that he motioned
the bus driver to pull over after he noticed that a rear wheel hub was
glowing red. Investigators said Gutierrez didn’t mention that encounter
when they interviewed him after the fire. If convicted, Gutierrez could
face up to two years and a $10,000 fine for each of the homicide charges.
Nursing Home Chain Sued
for Fatal Bus Fire During Rita Evacuations By KEVIN MCVEIGH, ESQ.,
Andrews Publications Staff Writer Thursday, Oct. 13, 2005
A Virginia-based nursing
home chain has been sued by the estate of an elderly resident killed in
a bus explosion while being evacuated from a Houston-area facility during
Hurricane Rita. The lawsuit was filed in Texas' Hidalgo County District
Court on behalf of the estate of Mary Gillette by Vicki Whitlow Thomas,
the executor of her estate. Gillette was one of 23 people killed in the
explosion, according to the complaint. The lawsuit names Sunrise Senior
Living Inc., Global Limo Inc., BusBank and driver Juan Robles Gutierrez
as defendants. Sunrise is the owner of the Brighton Gardens nursing home
in Bellaire, Texas, a suburb of Houston. Global Limo owned the bus, according
to the filing. BusBank was the broker that Sunrise contracted with to provide
its residents with transportation. According to Thomas' complaint, Gillette
was a resident at Brighton Gardens Sept. 23 when Hurricane Rita threatened
the Texas Gulf Coast. Brighton Gardens evacuated its residents and made
arrangements to get them to the safety of another Sunrise facility in Dallas.
To transport the evacuees, the nursing home contacted BusBank, which chartered
the Global Limo bus. Due to unprecedented traffic caused by the massive
evacuations, the bus made slow progress. Sixteen hours after it left the
nursing home, the bus burst into flames and exploded, killing 23 of the
nursing home residents.
According to published reports,
the bus was carrying 38 residents and six employees of Brighton Gardens
at the time of the explosion. Thomas cites worn tires and a faulty brake
system as possible causes of the fire. She also says residents' oxygen
tanks on board the bus may have contributed to combustion. She charges
that Sunrise did not exercise the required level of care in transporting
its elderly residents. Specifically, she alleges that the nursing home
did not take the proper precautions for transporting the oxygen tanks and
failed to train its staff on proper procedures for removing patients from
a bus in an emergency situation. Thomas also contends that, even though
Sunrise's staff members were under a duty to care for Gillette, they "put
themselves first and left [her] on the bus to burn to death." The lawsuit
also accuses Sunrise of failing to ensure that the vehicle was "in good
working order, properly registered and inspected." Thomas charges that
the registration for the bus had expired and that Global Limo had an "extremely
poor driver safety rating." Furthermore, she alleges that the bus did not
have proper fire suppression equipment. Thomas filed the lawsuit as a survival
action, seeking $5 million in compensatory damages for Gillette's conscious
pain and suffering, as well as for the mental anguish of knowing that she
was going to die. The lawsuit is seeking $25 million in punitive damages
from Global Limo, alleging that it demonstrated a consistent disregard
for the rights and welfare of others. Thomas also requests a temporary
injunction and restraining order preventing the disposal of the bus and
allowing the plaintiff's experts to inspect it. She also asks that the
court secure all records and documents pertaining to the bus.
Sunrise Chairman and CEO
Paul Klaassen issued a statement Sept. 24 praising the actions of the staff
members on the bus and expressing sympathy for the victims' families. "The
team members who were traveling on the bus were there to assist these residents
during their trip to Dallas. Their heroic actions helped save the lives
of many residents and I am extremely proud of their actions," Klaassen
said. "Sunrise has been devastated by this tragedy. ... Our primary concern
is for the safety of our residents and we are shocked and saddened that
this event occurred during our evacuation," he added.
spokesman for Virginia-based Sunrise Senior Living, which owns Brighton
Gardens, declined to comment.
opinion is that it's a time to mourn,'' Jamison Gosselin said.
United Food And Commercial
Workers Union Local 880 - Retail Food Employers Joint Pension Fund, et
al. v. Sunrise Senior Living, Inc., et al.
COURT: D. District
Columbia DOCKET NUMBER: 07-CV-00102
JUDGE NAME: Hon. Reggie
DATE FILED: 01/16/2007
SOURCE: Notice of Filing
CLASS PERIOD START:
08/04/2005 CLASS PERIOD END: 06/15/2006
TYPE OF COMPLAINT:
FOR VIOLATION OF FEDERAL SECURITY LAWS DEMAND
FOR JURY TRIAL
PLAINTIFF FIRMS IN THIS OR SIMILAR
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webpage is published as a public service to warn others of the business
practices of Sunrise Senior Living Inc. This site is in no way affiliated,
connected with, or sponsored by Sunrise Senior Living Inc., or any of its
subsidiaries. All content and information on this page is opinion of the
Webmaster or the opinion of those referenced. This site is for educational
purposes. Copyrighted material has been used for non-commercial purposes
only. By accessing this site you agree to immediately contact
us to report any incorrect data or misrepresentations of facts. Links
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