Camino Winds (Camino Island, #2) by John Grisham Read Online (FREE)
“Sure, I guess, but you gotta promise me I won’t get into trouble.”
“I can’t promise anything, Brittany. But if you’re careful we’ll be okay. I’m assuming security is not that tight.”
“Are you kidding? Patients are getting raped by the staff. I could walk into the pharmacy tomorrow and walk out with anything I want, not that the good stuff is there. The manager forgets to lock her door half the time. The only guard is an old fart who should be a dementia patient down the hall. No, Raymond, security is not a priority at dear ole Serenity. Security costs money and that company cares about nothing but profits.”
Jumper was amused. He offered his right hand across the pizza and she shook it.
Glinn Valley was in a chain of ninety nursing homes owned by a private company called Barkly Cave, which was in turn owned by a private company called Northern Verdure. Layered above that were several other corporations in various states. Thankfully, through a federal investigation two years earlier, it was known that the entire and intentionally dense ownership structure came down to a group of investors in Coral Gables, Florida. Their front was called Fishback Investments, and it owned and operated 285 nursing homes in twenty-seven states. It was a shamelessly private corporation that was constantly at war with regulators about how much financial data it should reveal. It had been caught lying many times, with blame always pinned on some junior accountant who was immediately paid off and terminated. Its compliance history was pathetic. Its facilities habitually racked up some of the worst violations in the country, and lawsuits were common.
Even worse was the Serenity Home chain, owned by another shadowy group domiciled in the Bahamas and run by investors who’d never been to the islands. Its parent, Grattin Health Systems, ran 302 nursing homes in fifteen states, and ran them well, judging by the bottom line. According to a quite unflattering article in Forbes, Grattin had grossed just over $3 billion the prior year and netted 11 percent after taxes. The company stayed in hot water with every state where it did business because of shoddy facilities, third-rate medical care, inadequate staffing—the list was long and ugly. Lawsuits were a way of life, and another article in a legal magazine profiled two national firms that did nothing but stalk Grattin facilities and file suits. Grattin always settled quickly and quietly, but did little to improve its care. Because of the advanced ages and limited abilities of its patients, the lawsuits were not worth much. One of the lawyers was quoted as saying, “Most of our clients cannot physically or emotionally go through a challenging lawsuit, and Grattin knows it. You can’t get those guys near a courtroom. They always settle.”
No one from Grattin was available for comment, which was apparently the company’s policy. The research painted a picture of a silent, spooked, even mummified outfit hiding bunker-like on the top floors of a high-rise in south central Houston.