EDITORS NOTE: The lawsuit against Joy's Place has been dismissed. Full story here.
CHARDON, Ohio—5 On Your Side Investigators have uncovered the state is trying to shut down a longtime assisted-living facility in Chardon. The accusations against the facility called Joy's Place are serious, but the facility told us it's ready to fight the claims.
Joy's Place is an assisted-living facility just off Mayfield Road in Chardon.
There has been a complaint filed by the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services asking to close Joy's Place. Inspections done in January cite the facility is "providing skilled nursing care which is prohibited" for that type of assisted-living business.
They also note "the facility is understaffed and staff members do not have appropriate qualifications and training." Plus, "one resident ingested another's medication requiring a trip to the hospital" and another "fell and broke her neck" but the fall wasn't reported until months later.
With all that in mind, we paid a visit to Joy's Place. Joyce Black is the owner of Joy's Place. She was there.
"It says here you are understaffed. Is that true?" we asked, but Black didn’t answer.
"Are you operating a safe facility do you think, Joy?" we also asked and still no answer.
Black referred us to her attorney.
"We're very surprised by it," said Joy’s Place attorney Mary Jane Trapp. She told us usually the inspection results are given to the business and, if there are problems, the business has a chance to respond. She said the reports were put straight into a court complaint months later. "Nothing from the state of Ohio and this was not filed until April,” said Trapp.
Trapp would not specifically comment on the cited problems but did say "this seems to be some sort of aberration and we are going to ferret it out in the courtroom."
The Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services sent us pictures from the inspections showing trash piling up, a less-than-clean shower area, a filthy toilet, and more. The pictures all accompany the inspector's claims that "the facility is dirty and unsanitary."
"Some of the things that they're pointing out, they happened to occur during the period of time that Joy (Black) was actually doing renovations,” said Trapp.
"When people see something like this (court filing), it's going to run through their mind, 'Is this a safe place for patients?’ What is your response?” we asked Trapp.
“I can assure them this is a safe place for their residents,” Trapp told us.
5 On Your Side Investigators have requested inspection reports on Joy's Place for the past three years. The Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services told us it's working to get us those documents. We'll let you know when we get the reports.