The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has reignited a lawsuit against Golden Living, alleging that it violated consumer protection laws by engaging in deceptive marketing practices.

Golden Gate National Senior Care and its statewide affiliates, which include two-dozen nursing homes, was first sued by the state’s attorney general in 2015. Officials alleged that the provider had exaggerated the level of care provided to its customers and understaffed facilities to maximize profits. Golden Living’s CEO bristled at the time, calling those charges “baseless and wholly without merit.”

A lower Commonwealth Court panel dismissed the suit as “puffery” and hyperbole, but in late September, Justice Christine Donohue ruled that the AG’s claims that the nursing home chain violated state Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law were “not too vague” to support the lawsuit.

Donohue asserted that Golden did not deliver on specific promises made to attract residents, in brochures, marketing materials and video ads. Those include the AG’s assertion that, despite promises of prompt dining and cleaning services, residents “routinely [had] to wait hours for food, assistance with toileting, changing of soiled bed linens and other elements of basic care.”

Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro had launched attempts to revive the lawsuit last fall. He argued that leaving it dormant would have “unintended consequences” for the state’s residents.

In a statement to
McKnight’s, Golden Living said that it was reviewing the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s opinion on the appeal.

“The court’s opinion in this case could have a widespread impact on businesses in the Commonwealth. Golden Living denies the key allegations in the lawsuit and it will continue to pursue its available defenses,” it said in the statement.