The owner of Weschester Plaza in Fort Worth has agreed to pay $30,000 in civil penalties to the Texas attorney general’s office to settle a lawsuit stemming from complaints that the assisted living facility did not have a working sprinkler system for eight months in 2012.
The settlement was reached Oct. 26 in state district court in Tarrant County.
WGH Heritage Inc., Westchester Prime Management and Phoenix Health Resources, the Fort Worth firm operating the state’s largest assisted-living facility for Medicaid recipients, also agreed to pay $10,000 in attorney’s fees and investigation costs, bringing the total owed to $40,000, court records show.
The owners were to begin paying the settlement Nov. 1. They will pay $1,333 a month for 30 months, according to court records.
Westchester’s owners “contend that the situation or incident, subject of the investigation, was an occurrence without fault or cause and without reasonable means of prevention,” court records said. “This final judgment does not constitute an approval by the State of [the owners] business practices.”
In June 2014, the attorney general’s office filed the suit on behalf of the Department of Aging and Disability Services.
Earlier this year, a California-based real estate investment trust had announced plans to buy and tear down troubled facility and build a $108.6 million development at its site on Summit and Pennsylvania avenues. The plan was to have begun earlier this year.
Westchester Plaza is licensed for 275 residents. The state last inspected the facility Oct. 15 and found no violations, according to the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services website.