By Matt Barbour, Weekend Anchor/Reporter - bio | email
DALTON, GA (WRCB) -- Channel 3 continues our investigation into a Dalton assisted living facility. We have now learned the parent company of Peachtree Estates is accused of violating federal securities laws.
We have aired several reports on the concerns over the level of care at Peachtree Estates. The facility is being investigated by the state, after being cited in March for more than 20 violations.
Now its parent company, Assisted Living Concepts, may be in some serious trouble.
Almost weekly, Dalton attorney Greg Kinnamon meets with family members of loved ones living at Peachtree Estates.
"I haven't been getting any response from corporate since January," says Kinnamon.
The group stopped paying parent company, Wisconsin-based Assisted Living Concepts, claiming it violated contracts after the state found the facility did not have enough trained staff "to properly safeguard the health, safety and welfare of the residents."
"We pay a lot. We pay in excess of $5,100 a month," says Bill Sikkelee.
Sikkelee's 95-year-old mother has lived at Peachtree for four years and says his complaints over the past year fell on deaf ears.
"She had been left there for so many hours that she had head down on a table and was virtually asleep," says Sikkelee.
A Channel 3 investigation has uncovered other state inspection problems in Georgia, Idaho, Alabama and reportedly Indiana as well.
Now Assisted Living Concepts is being sued in Illinois District Court, accused of violating lease agreements with Ventas Realty, Inc., which rents space to ALC in several states.
In the lawsuit, the company states "Recently, Ventas received notices that indicate several of the ALC entities face state regulatory actions for violations of regulatory statutes or regulations governing the facilities."
We have made numerous attempts to contact ALC, CEO Laurie Bebo and its legal representation out of Atlanta, with no response.
ALC's website maintains, "Our residences are a place where friendly faces and conversations are easy to come by; a place where independence and dignity are respected. A place to call home."
"All we're asking for is, the job be done right. And it's not being done right. Period," says Sikkelee.
Family members we have spoken with say they feel like their hands are tied, saying there are not many assisted living options in the Dalton area.
We have reached out the Department of Community Health. Representatives say they will not comment on an open investigation.