Michigan Court Halts Governor Snyder’s Privatization Plans

LANSING, Mich., Oct. 19, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Michigan AFSCME Council 25 is announcing its support for patients and state workers impacted by a major court ruling in a lawsuit brought by Anthony Spallone and others that grants a preliminary injunction against Governor Rick Snyder and his plans to privatize the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans.

“Our veterans deserve the best care available afforded by the professional, dedicated and hardworking members of AFSCME,” said Al Garrett, President of Michigan AFSCME Council 25. “This court ruling affirms our desire as a state to make sure we do not sacrifice quality care for those who have already given so much to our country.”

Richard Mack, attorney for the veterans in the case Spallone v. State of Michigan Department of Veterans Affairs (case num. 11-1041-CZ) agreed. The suit was heard in Ingham County circuit court.

“The only saving grace for these men and women who defended our country is that the state-employed Resident Care Aides are the primary source of nursing assistant care that they receive,” said Richard Mack, attorney. “With those state-employed RCAs gone, the hazards to these veterans would increase exponentially. We are happy the court agrees to honor their service and force the state to continue to provide quality care for our veterans.”

This permanent injunction means veterans at the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans will keep the care they are currently receiving and their direct nursing assistant care will not be completely handed over to J2S Group Inc. — a company which is currently in the facility offering supplemental care to veterans and has proven to be inadequate to treat our veterans. The state of Michigan decided to hand over the nursing assistant duties to J2S Group. Plaintiffs successfully argued the track record of J2S is poor, at best, and already presents a hazard to patients.

Just last week the facility was sued for neglect in Ingham County Circuit Court when one of the patients fell out of bed broke his neck while left unattended J2S Group. On September 12, 2011 Mathew Ambrose “sustained grave” injuries that required surgery on his spine when an employee of J2S Group sat the man up and then left the room according to the suit. Mr. Ambrose had a well-documented history of falling and cannot sit up without assistance. Even so, he was propped up and left alone resulting in injury according to the suit. That case is proceeding through the courts.

SOURCE Michigan AFSCME Council 25, AFL-CIO

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