Federal court finds 17 Indiana nursing home violations were not issued maliciously

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A federal appeals court has ruled against an Indiana nursing home, which successfully contested 16 of 17 Medicaid-participation and state licensing violations. The court did not find that state health department officials had issued citations out of malice.

Golden Years Homestead Inc. filed suit against Indiana state health officials, claiming that they had abused their authority when issuing 17 citations to the facility in 2000. According to the lawsuit, a dispute arose during the inspection between one inspector and the facility's director of nursing. The facility alleges that the inspectors then became abusive, loudly criticizing staff in front of families and patients and repeatedly slamming the door to a memory care ward in an attempt to break the lock, the Bureau of National Affairs reported.   

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit found that the initial disagreement between the director of nursing and the health official was too personal and benign to merit a ruling of malicious intent.
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