Sen. Warren Calls Genesis HealthCare Executive Bonus An Act of “Unfathomable Greed”

February 10, 2021

senator warren slams genesis healthcare

Genesis Healthcare, which operates a chain of nursing homes, has been criticized by Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren for giving its former CEO a multi-million “retention payment” during the COVID-19 pandemic, referring to the bonus as an act of “unfathomable greed.”

Read more: Signs of Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect You Shouldn’t Ignore

Nursing Home Operator CEO Received Bonus During COVID-19 Pandemic

Genesis Healthcare, which operates more than 300 nursing homes across the U.S., awarded its former CEO, George Hager, Jr., a $5.2 million “retention payment” in October 2020. Three months later, Hager retired and was given an additional $650,000 bonus and three-month consulting contract worth $300,000. The company also set aside an additional $2 million in executive bonuses, according to SEC filings.

Genesis Healthcare has stated that Hager, following his retirement, will return an unspecified portion of the $5.2 million bonus over the next two years.

The payments triggered a sharp rebuke from Sen. Warren, who wrote a letter to Hager’s successor at Genesis Healthcare, Robert Fish. The payments to Hager came as the company had already recorded thousands of COVID-19-related deaths among its residents and had received more than $300 million in federal and state aid during the pandemic. The company reports that, due in part to the pandemic, its finances had gotten so bad that the company might be on the brink of insolvency. 

Sen. Warren’s letter to Genesis Healthcare criticized the payment of bonuses to executives while thousands of its residents have died during the pandemic and the company is reliant on government subsidies to keep operating. Sen. Warren wrote, “I would like an explanation for this unfathomable greed amidst a public health tragedy and economic crisis…There is no rationale whatsoever for offering Mr. Hager a multimillion dollar windfall in the wake of these fatalities.” Sen. Warren further criticized the use of CARES Act funding “to line the pockets of company executives who fail to address the public health threats from the pandemic” and warned the company to “not [seek] additional public funds while giving departing executives multimillion dollar bonuses.” 

Nursing Homes Potentially Responsible for Numerous COVID-19 Fatalities

Genesis Healthcare reports that more than 2,800 of its residents across its more than 300 facilities have died of COVID-19. Nationally, tens of thousands of nursing home residents have died from the disease, as COVID-19 is especially fatal to the elderly and those with certain pre-existing conditions, and the living arrangements inside nursing homes can allow COVID-19 to rapidly spread among residents and between residents and staffers.

Read more: Pennsylvania Nursing Home Sued Over COVID-19 Outbreak and Deaths

What to Do If Your Loved One Contracted COVID-19 in a Nursing Home

Unfortunately, many nursing home residents have fallen victim to serious disease and death during the COVID-19 pandemic due to the negligent and reckless actions and decisions of nursing home operators, including failing to supply sufficient personal protective equipment to staff, failing to monitor staff for COVID-19 infections, and failing to maintain appropriate social distancing and quarantining of residents.

If you have a loved one who has contracted COVID-19 at a nursing home, you and your family should talk to a nursing home abuse and neglect attorney as soon as possible to discuss your legal rights and options. Your loved one and your family may be entitled to recover compensation for damages including medical expenses to treat COVID-19 complications, pain and suffering and loss of quality of life, and wrongful death damages if your loved one passed away due to COVID-19.

Contact a Pittsburgh Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer to Discuss Your Case Today

Seniors in nursing homes and other care facilities deserve to be treated with respect and dignity. Additionally, nursing home staff needs to ensure that patients are safe and secure at all times. If your loved one suffered an injury, or worse, due to nursing home negligence or abuse in Pennsylvania, you need to speak with a qualified attorney. The experienced nursing home neglect attorneys at Goodrich & Geist, P.C. represent clients in Pittsburgh and the surrounding Western PA counties. Call (412) 766-1455 or fill out the online contact form to schedule a consultation today. We have an office conveniently located at 3634 California Ave., Pittsburgh, PA 15212.

The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.