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I have been over charged by an Assisted Living. Last year they over bill $7000 and I had to prove it to them. Elder Issue

Boston, MA |

Of course they knew it... just playing stupid and probably collecting millions from Seniors. They are on the New York Stock Exchange. Anyway now 18 mths later more over billing, and they I pay what I owe, and notify them of the rest, but now I want to 93A them and possibly sue as they are threatening and attempting to collect. How do I find a lawyer and what should I expect?

Attorney Answers 5


  1. This is not the kind of question for this forum. Your situation is way too complicated. You are right, however, that you need to find a lawyer to help you get to the bottom of this. There are many excellent elder law lawyers in your area who are very active on Avvo. I would click the "find a lawyer" link below. That should get you started.

    Best of luck to you!

    James Frederick

    *** LEGAL DISCLAIMER I am licensed to practice law in the State of Michigan and have offices in Wayne and Ingham Counties. My practice is focused in the areas of estate planning and probate administration. I am ethically required to state that the above answer does not create an attorney/client relationship. These responses should be considered general legal education and are intended to provide general information about the question asked. Frequently, the question does not include important facts that, if known, could significantly change the answer. Information provided on this site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed attorney that practices in your state. The law changes frequently and varies from state to state. If I refer to your state's laws, you should not rely on what I say; I just did a quick Internet search and found something that looked relevant that I hoped you would find helpful. You should verify and confirm any information provided with an attorney licensed in your state.


  2. I actually am going to recommend that you contact your state's ombudsman office to assist you with your complaint. The purpose of the long term care ombudsman is to resolve disputes between residents of long term care facilities and the management. I attached a link to the Massachusetts website below.

    Alternatively, you could speak to an elder law attorney to assist you with your matter. There are federal and state laws defining the rights of nursing home residents, and Massachusetts may apply these laws to assisted living facilities as well. The repeated overcharging may also violate laws and standards relating to the certification of the facility. As the expression goes, "you don't know what you don't know." Get some guidance from an attorney who can advocate on your behalf. You can find an attorney in your area through the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, the link to which is provided below. Good luck!

    Unless you came into my office, signed a contract and wrote me a check, I am not your attorney, and you are not my client. This is not intended as legal advice and should only be used for informational purposes only. You should never believe any information that you receive on the internet, especially information that is probably being provided in the late evening hours when I should be sleeping.


  3. Can you afford to pursue this legally? Sounds like the over billing is only several thousand dollars. I would favor my colleague's suggestion that you notify the appropriate administrative agencies such as ombudsman, state agency that licenses the facility, BBB, etc. and let them pursue the issue. Unless you can get a class action going, it sounds like you would be suing over $10,000 or less and considering the cost of litigation, even if you win, you may be behind. Seems unlikely that a lawyer would take this on a contingency and Boston isn't exactly a low cost area so I'd guess you'd have to provide a several thousand dollar retainer to get started privately vs. no cost to notify agencies of the issue.

    Lawrence Friedman, Bridgewater, NJ. Certified as an Elder Law Attorney by the ABA approved National Elder Law Foundation, former Chair NJ State Bar Association Elder and Disabilities Law Section, Member Board of Consultors of NJSBA Real Property, Trusts & Estates Law Section, Vice Chair Special Needs Law Section of National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, and Master of Laws (LL.M.) in Taxation from N.Y.U. School of Law. Visit SpecialNeedsNJ.com for articles and Q&A on elder law, special needs, wills, trusts, estates, and tax. Visit SpecialNeedsNJ.com/blog and subscribe for free timely updates to be delivered to your inbox. Information on both Avvo and SpecialNeedsNJ.com does not constitute legal advice, as it is general in nature and may not apply to your situation or be subject to important changes. No attorney client relationship exists unless set forth in written engagement terms.

    Lawrence Friedman, Bridgewater, NJ. Certified as an Elder Law Attorney by the ABA approved National Elder Law Foundation, former Chair NJ State Bar Association Elder and Disabilities Law Section, Member Board of Consultors of NJSBA Real Property, Trusts & Estates Law Section, Vice Chair Special Needs Law Section of National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, and Master of Laws (LL.M.) in Taxation from N.Y.U. School of Law. Visit SpecialNeedsNJ.com for articles and Q&A on elder law, special needs, wills, trusts, estates, and tax. Visit SpecialNeedsNJ.com/blog and subscribe for free timely updates to be delivered to your inbox. Information on both Avvo and SpecialNeedsNJ.com does not constitute legal advice, as it is general in nature and may not apply to your situation or be subject to important changes. No attorney client relationship exists unless set forth in written engagement terms.


  4. Assisted living facilities are regulated by the Executive Office of Elder Affairs. The Department of Public Health regulates nursing homes. You can call the Assisted Living Ombudsman at (617) 727-7750.

    I would sit down with an attorney who represents debtors and have them assess your 93A claim. As you may know, a successful 93A claim can result in the facility paying double or treble damages plus attorney's fees; however, you would need to ask the attorney if he would be willing to take the case on a contingent fee basis.

    E. Alexandra "Sasha" Golden is a Massachusetts lawyer. All answers are based on Massachusetts law. All answers are for educational purposes and no attorney-client relationship is formed by providing an answer to a question.


  5. The above answers are excellent, but you may just want to try to take your paperwork to an attorney. Some attorneys will offer a consultation for free, but you probably need somebody to carefully review financial data with you. Any attorney who is going to take your case on a contingent basis is going to want to review your paperwork and fully understand your case first. It may be money well spent.

    Your question doesn't really explain why you believe you are being improperly billed, so it is hard to address that issue.

    Christopher Vaughn-Martel is a Massachusetts lawyer with the firm of Vaughn-Martel Law in Boston, Massachusetts. All answers are based on Massachusetts law and the limited facts presented by the questioner. All answers are provided to the general public for educational purposes only and no attorney-client relationship is formed by providing an answer to a question. To schedule a consultation with a lawyer, and obtain advice and review of your specific legal issue, please call us today at 617-357-4898 or visit us at www.vaughnmartel.com.

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