Government settles with nursing home chains; civil lawsuit against Troutman Sanders attorney dismissed

The Justice Department reached a $14 million settlement with two Atlanta-based nursing home chains that were accused of steering their patients to a Kentucky-based nursing home pharmaceutical firm in an alleged $50 million kickback scheme.

The agreement comes nearly a year after federal prosecutors filed a complaint against SavaSeniorCare Administrative Services and Mariner Health Care in the U.S. District Court's District of Massachusetts.

The principals of those firms, Rubin Schron, Murray Forman and Leonard Grunstein, as well as Omnicare, the nursing home pharmacy, also were named in the original complaint.

Grunstein is  a partner in the New York office of Atlanta-based law firm Troutman Sanders.

In the settlement, Grunstein, Sava and Murray deny any involvement in illegal activity.

Sava, which issued a news release following the settlement, specifically noted it did not pay anything toward the settlement, nor did Grunstein and Forman.

Troutman Sanders, which said Grunstein remains on a leave of absence, echoed that in its own statement.

"The firm supports the sense of vindication that Mr. Grunstein has expressed by his not paying any money toward the settlement and by denying any wrongdoing in the settlement agreement," Troutman said in its statement.

This latest agreement follows a $98 million settlement that Omnicare -- the nation's largest pharmacy specializing in giving drugs to nursing home patients -- reached with the government after a whistle-blower investigation that found the company was involved in four such kickback schemes.