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Alex J. Fajardo is an Associate in Stark & Stark’s Nursing Home Litigation Group. Mr. Fajardo concentrates his practice on personal injury claims, nursing home malpractice, and litigation with emphasis on wrongful death, catastrophic injury, negligence, and abuse claims arising in nursing homes, assisted-living facilities, psychiatric facilities, hospitals, boarding, and group homes.

An investigation has been launched by the State Attorney General’s Office into the handling of COVID-19 by nursing homes in New Jersey. The investigation will focus on both civil and criminal liability and penalties for these facilities. The Office will be investigating the lack of staffing and mishandling that may have led to infection and death of patients, as well as the lack of transparency and failure to communicate with patients’ families during this distressing time.

Continue Reading Attorney General Investigates State’s Nursing Homes – Hotbed of COVID-19 Fatalities

It is important to recognize the hard work of nurses in the fight against COVID-19, but in nursing homes, problems continue to be discovered.

Unfortunately, we saw a spike of more than 1,500 deaths of nursing home patients from early to mid- April according to recent reports. As is being recognized, the nursing home population is vulnerable to the pandemic due to their age, or already compromised health. However, it should not go unnoticed that the problems some nursing homes are now experiencing are due in part to long-standing inadequacies in those facilities prior to the spread of COVID-19.


Continue Reading Long-Standing Inadequacies Lead to Further Issues Within Nursing Homes

We commend the nurses and medical personnel on the front lines fighting the COVID-19 pandemic. However, as long time advocates for nursing home patients, we are aware of some of the issues developing in already problematic nursing homes. Some of these issues are being revealed by the media.

Continue Reading Problematic Developments in Nursing Homes During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Generally speaking, a nursing home facility is a resident’s home. Consequently, residents can have guests visit them at the nursing home whenever they want. Residents can choose whomever they want to visit and can decide to have their visitors present while they are receiving medical or nursing care. By federal law, in nursing homes that accept federal Medicare or Medicaid funding, residents have a right to visitors any time they like, regardless of whether the nursing home has posted visitation hours.

Continue Reading Visitation Rights of New Jersey Nursing Home Residents During COVID-19 Pandemic

Nursing homes and corporate raiders don’t seem like they’d have much in common at first blush, but nursing home management is coming under the microscope after Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-VT), Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Representative Mark Pocan (D-WI) directed a pointed letter to the CEOs of The Carlyle Group, a global investment firm specializing in corporate private equity.

Continue Reading Nursing Home Ownership Gets Thorough Examination

When a family member moves into an assisted care facility, their new home is evaluated from many angles. What is the living space like? What are the staff qualifications? Have there been concerns raised in the past? Most likely, you aren’t considering the potential need for litigation.

Yet among the many pages of admissions paperwork, nursing home residents and their families are being asked to sign a forced arbitration agreement before being admitted. This agreement bars a court hearing in the case of disputes, including those that address abuse, injury, or wrongful death while at the facility.


Continue Reading Railroaded: Forced Arbitration Clause Should Alarm Nursing Home Residents

Three women working at a nursing home have been arrested and charged with assault after engaging in elder abuse, pushing a patient, and encouraging a physical altercation between two residents. The incident was recorded, showing none of the employees stepped in to stop the fight.

The patients, who had dementia, were at the facility and should have received care that made them feel safe. Instead, they were physically abused and encouraged to fight one another, with employees looking on as the fight progressed to punching and choking. Rather than stepping in, one of the employees called out to the resident to punch the other in the face, still not intervening even when the resident called out for help.


Continue Reading Nursing Home ‘Fight Club’ Shows Need for Training, Background Checks

Every two minutes, someone in the U.S. dies from sepsis. Despite its prevalence, many people are unfamiliar with this life-threatening medical issue. To raise awareness about what sepsis is, how to recognize its symptoms, and the importance of timely treatment, September has been named Sepsis Awareness Month.

Sepsis is the body’s response to an infection, and occurs when the immune system sends infection-fighting chemicals to the entire body rather than just to the infection. The damage from these chemicals causes impaired blood flow, organ damage, and death. Of the 2 million people who develop sepsis in the U.S. each year, one-quarter of them will not survive. For those that do survive, many develop post-sepsis syndrome (PSS), which can cause long-term physical and psychological effects.


Continue Reading September is Sepsis Awareness Month

Updated 9/20/2019 – Lawmakers in the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Forced Arbitration Injustice Repeal (FAIR) Act — a groundbreaking bill that would prohibit all companies, including nursing homes, from using forced arbitration.

The bill now moves to the Senate, and if passed, access to the court system may be restored to the multitudes of Americans who have been forced into arbitration or even unknowingly signed away their constitutional right to sue. This bill is crucial for nursing home residents, who have had a long, difficult history of being forced into unfair arbitration.

Because these clauses are often buried in a stack of documents, many nursing home residents and their families are unaware of their inability to sue until something bad happens. If passed, the FAIR Act would go a far way to leveling the playing field for nursing home residents.

Original blog below:


Legal rights will once again be stripped away from elderly and disabled residents in nursing homes. On July 16, 2019, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid overturned the ban on nursing homes using arbitration agreements with their residents. For decades, nursing facilities could hide their malpractice and handle all claims brought against them behind closed doors by forcing residents to sign away their legal rights in arbitration agreements. For residents who experienced neglect, assault, or death due to a facility’s failures, their families were denied access to the Court system because these agreements waived the rights of residents to a jury trial awarded to them by the Constitution. Instead, claims were decided in a process presided over by an arbitrator often of the nursing home’s choosing, and many times pursuant to the nursing home’s rules. When things went horribly wrong due to their malpractice, nursing homes were able to contain their costs in these arbitration proceedings in which discovery was a less than searching process and awards for damages to the residents would often be low.


Continue Reading New Arbitration Rule Violates the Rights of Vulnerable Nursing Home Residents

A recent study found significant understaffing in 75% of nursing facilities across the country, raising concerns about the level of care patients receive.

The Harvard and Vanderbilt study, published in the July issue of the Journal of Health Affairs, used data from the Payroll Based Journal (PBJ) to analyze the staffing levels of more than 15,000 facilities. The study examined the staffing levels of registered nurses (RN), licensed practical nurses (LPN), and nurse aides, relative to the number of nursing home residents who rely on their care.


Continue Reading Nursing Home Residents at Risk: Study Finds Significant Understaffing in 75% of Skilled Nursing Facilities