health care

Nursing chain’s tangled structure, bankruptcy threats stymied suits

After a hospital stay in 2016 for a brain tumor, Regina Romero was transferred to a nursing home in New Mexico. Her “medications were withheld” and she was neglected and “subjected to an assault,” her family alleges in a wrongful death lawsuit filed in 2017 against the facility, Paloma Blanca Health and Rehabilitation.

Romero died less than four months after arriving at the home; she was only 59 years old, states the complaint, which doesn’t detail the allegations.

In March 2021, the case was nearing a settlement when negotiations suddenly halted.


That month, a unit of Consulate Health Care — which owned 140 nursing homes, including Paloma Blanca — filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protections. Romero’s stepdaughter said Consulate attorneys leveraged the pending bankruptcy as a bludgeon: either accept a significantly reduced settlement, or risk getting little or nothing from a bankrupt entity. The family begrudgingly took the much smaller offer, an amount that cannot be disclosed under the settlement terms.

“It’s horrible because I think they got away with what they did,” said the stepdaughter, Lisa Robichaud, who had moved near Romero when she entered Paloma Blanca. The two women had bonded over cooking together and grown

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Three Big Law Firms Aid Amazon $3.49 Billion One Medical Buy (1) Inc.‘s bid to buy One Medical and break into the US health care market is getting help from three Big Law firms.

Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison is advising Amazon while Cooley and Ropes & Gray are representing San Francisco-based 1Life Healthcare Inc., parent of primary care company One Medical.

One Medical operates 182 medical offices in 25 markets in the US. Customers pay a subscription fee for access to doctors and 24-hour digital services. Amazon’s purchase of One Medical for $3.49 billion in cash would be the third-largest deal in the Seattle-based company’s history.

Paul Weiss corporate partners Krishna Veeraraghavan and Kyle Seifried are counseling Amazon. Paul Weiss recruited Veeraraghavan last year from Sullivan & Cromwell in a high-profile lateral move.

Steven Tonsfeldt leads the Cooley team. Cooley hired him in 2016 after the Silicon Valley dealmaker led the mergers and acquisitions practice at O’Melveny & Myers.

Other Cooley lawyers representing One Medical include corporate partners Matthew Hemington and Annie Lieberman, as well as associate Gaël Hagan.

Ropes & Gray health care partners Jennifer Romig and Christina Bergeron are working with a half-dozen associates for One Medical.

Cooley’s Tonsfeldt and Hemington and Ropes & Gray’s Romig

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