Settlement reached in former James Square facility lawsuit

Former James Square facilty in Syracuse (CNYCentral File Photo)

A settlement has been made in the ongoing case of neglect and poor care at a Syracuse assisted living center.

The former James Square facility — now under new ownership — was the target of a raid by the New York attorney general last year.

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Bishop Nursing and Rehabilitation Center then took over the facility and eventually bought it from the past owners.

The families of two residents sued and CNYCentral obtained details of the settlement expected to be finalized in court on Wednesday morning.

The current owners admit no wrongdoing as they were not in charge at the time. But they've agreed to pay nearly $500,000 to past and current residents.

They're also committing to hire more workers — specifically nurses — and improve care across the facility.

"It's my hope that this will be fixed," said Jeremiah Frei-Pearson. "This is a settlement that is going to take over a year to effectuate just because its impossible not to. They have to hire up staffing to meet the benchmarks."

If the judge accepts this settlement, the court will oversee the care being provided to ensure standards are met.

The families who are suing continue to pursue cases against past owners and other parties.

Bishop Nursing released a statement on Tuesday afternoon:

Bishop Rehabilitation and Nursing Center is pleased to update the public on significant advances since the recent change of ownership of our facility. We believe that these improvements will allow us to maintain our commitment to providing the highest level of care for all our residents, to be delivered with exceptional service and the greatest level of compassion and consideration.
Due to our belief that quality care cannot take place without quality personnel, Bishop Rehabilitation and Nursing has hired 250 new employees to ensure that the services provided to our residents remain paramount. Our current staffing is in line with, or greater than, statewide averages.
We are further pleased to report that within the first quarter of 2018 we have already achieved four stars for quality measures as reported by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Service. Additionally, the New York State Department of Health has recently completed its annual survey and has reported minimal findings. Finally, we have recently received the necessary approvals to begin our multi-million dollar facility renovation project.
We are determined to continue to provide extraordinary care through quality caregivers in a state of the art facility and to maintain our position as a leader in healthcare to the Syracuse community.

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