BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — Tennessee-based Brookdale Senior Living, Inc. and operator of Brookdale Riverwalk in southwest Bakersfield has reached a $3.25 million settlement with the state Friday, according to the Kern County District Attorney’s Office.

The lawsuit was led by Kern County District Attorney Cynthia Zimmer alongside a coalition of District and City Attorneys and Attorney General Rob Bonta, according to the DA. The settlement comes after the 10 Brookdale living centers in California allegedly failed to notify and prepare residents for transfers, discharges, inputting proper documentation into patients’ medical records, while also misrepresenting the quality of care to the public.

The DA’s Office says by failing to properly notify, report, prepare residents and families of transfers and discharges, while not notifying the local ombudsmen Brookdale put its patients at risk and families were forced to find other places to care for their relatives in a hurry.

The DA said Brookdale is also accused of reporting false information including over-reporting the number of hours that nurses provided care to residents to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS). By reporting false numbers to CMS, specifically nurse staffing hours, it violated both Unfair Competition Law and False Advertising Law, as well as receiving undeserved facility ratings.

On top of the $3.25 million, Brookdale Senior Living, Inc. must stop illegal practices noted in the lawsuit, appoint someone to monitor and oversee compliance at Brookdale Riverwalk, pay $2.4 million in civil penalties, $550,000 in cost and $300,000 to the Kern County Long Term Care Ombudsman, according to the DA.

“Residents of skilled nursing facilities are among the most vulnerable members of our community,” said District Attorney Zimmer. “This judgment will make our vulnerable seniors safer by bringing a monitor into Brookdale’s facilities, providing more funding for Kern County’s long-term care ombudsman program, and sending a message to other skilled nursing facility operators — if you put profits ahead of the safety of your vulnerable residents, you will be held accountable.”

Brookdale Senior Living provided a statement to 17 News in response to the settlement.

It reads:

“We strongly disagree with the characterizations made by the other parties in the case. There are no findings Brookdale violated any laws or engaged in wrongdoing. Brookdale continues to deny any liability. Brookdale supports laws and regulations that protect seniors and govern our industry, and we are thankful to have a dedicated group of associates who provide high quality service and care to our residents. Our communities rely upon the relationships we build with our seniors, and our top priority will always be the health and safety of our residents and associates. Resolving this case for an amount equal to the continued cost of defense was in the best interests of our residents, and we are pleased to put this behind us.”

Brookdale Senior Living spokesperson