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Illinois governor candidate tied to nursing home abuse

A political candidate for office is facing allegations that he mistreated elderly nursing home residents. Bruce Rauner is a candidate for the governorship of Illinois. He also is the only candidate without a history in professional politics. As a result, his career is being scrutinized. New information implicating the man in nursing home abuse and neglect may affect his chances for office.

Several nursing home lawsuits are pending against facilities that had received investments from the man's private equity firm. Attorneys allege that the company and other investors are liable for nursing home deaths and nursing home neglect. Those investors are accused of failing to provide financial resources for patient care. Further, the firms allegedly shuffled assets to protect them from lawsuit damages.

Rauner is not personally named in legal documents related to those cases. Still, the firm in which he was heavily involved is listed as a defendant on several current cases. The company reportedly began investing in nursing homes in 1998, acquiring several firms for long-term care. The managing company, Trans Healthcare, started strong in the industry with 274 facilities nationwide. By 2005, that amount had dropped to 185 locations. That subsidiary has been plagued with financial and legal problems for years.

Although the man was not directly involved in the nursing home neglect, he is associated with a company that has been targeted by a slew of personal injury attorneys. This could be damaging to his political career, and rightfully so. Elder abuse is a reprehensible crime that warrants criminal and civil legal action. Victims of elder abuse and their family members may be able to recover financial compensation for their negative experiences.

Source: Chicago Tribune, "Nursing home problems may dog Rauner" Rick Pearson and Ray Long, Jan. 25, 2014

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