LOS ANGELES, Jan. 16, 2008 (PRIME NEWSWIRE) -- Five former nursing home employees filed a class action complaint in federal court today for damages suffered when their employer, Pleasant Care, retroactively terminated their health care coverage and the coverage of about 5,000 other, similarly-situated employees. Plaintiffs' counsel, David Vendler of Morris Polich & Purdy LLP, states that one of his clients, a cancer victim, now has over $40,000 in medical expenses that she thought would be covered. She is now being told that these expenses, which she does not have the money to pay, are her responsibility. "Coverage was pulled out from under the plaintiffs like a rug," Vendler states.

The complaint alleges that, during the time the much maligned Pleasant Care facilities were being operated by the Tutera Group (a Kansas City management company that was retained by Pleasant Care's creditors to run the facilities after Pleasant Care filed for bankruptcy), Tutera was specifically advised that their plan to retroactively terminate employees' health benefits was illegal. Nonetheless, the Tutera Group went forward, knowingly putting the interests of Pleasant Care's banking creditors (that hired the Tutera Group) first, while putting the interests of Pleasant Care's employees last by willfully concealing that payments of all health care benefits (as well as accrued vacation pay) would stop as soon as the various nursing home facilities could be auctioned off (for the benefit of the creditors) by the Tutera Group. The employees also received no COBRA benefits.

The complaint also alleges that Tutera's lack of honesty with the Pleasant Care employees was vital to its plan to maximize the return for the creditors that hired the Tutera Group. Tutera knew that the nursing home facilities were significantly more valuable if they could be sold as operating businesses, so if the employees had been told up front that they would not be receiving their benefits, there was a danger that they would look for other jobs, thereby leaving the facilities unable to function and making them much less valuable.

"This is just one more outrageous example," Vendler states, "of big corporations maximizing profit by grinding away at the rights of the helpless. The only thing the plaintiffs did wrong in this case was that they went to work. Now, and because of what was done to them, many are facing potential bankruptcy because of the thousands of dollars in unpaid medical expenses they were told would be covered by their medical plan. They now also face substantial difficulties in obtaining other medical coverage because of preexisting conditions and the gap that was created in their coverage history."

Also named in the suit are the two leading secured creditors of Pleasant Care which the complaint alleges knowingly participated in the wrongful plan.

About MPP

Morris Polich & Purdy LLP is a litigation firm that serves as local, regional, and national counsel for small to Fortune 500 companies. The Firm is dedicated to delivering superior performance for every client, partnering with them to meet their legal and business goals.

More information on this and other class actions can be found on the Class Action Newsline at www.primenewswire.com/ca.

Morris Polich & Purdy LLP
David Vendler, Esq., Attorney at Law
(213) 417-5100