Assisted Living Facility Abuse Attorney, San Francisco Bay Area

Legally protecting seniors in assisted living facilities demands empathy and legal proficiency. At Susan Kang Gordon, A Professional Law Corporation, we merge legal acumen with genuine understanding. With us, you’re not just another case — you’re a story waiting to be heard, understood, and championed.
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2021 Trial Lawyer of the Year
Ventura County Trial Lawyers Association
2022 Trial Lawyer of the Year
San Francisco County TrialLawyers Association

Advocating for Victims of Assisted Living Facility Abuse and Neglect

The Law Offices of Susan Kang Gordon in Orinda, CA
At Susan Kang Gordon, A Professional Law Corporation, we fiercely advocate for seniors who have suffered abuse and neglect in assisted living homes. We know the pain and betrayal families feel in these heartbreaking situations, so we work relentlessly to hold negligent facilities accountable.

Our firm has achieved remarkable success in this area, most notably securing a $13.5 million verdict in 2021. Our verdict was recognized as one of the most substantial in California for assisted living abuse cases. Our successes back up our skill and dedication in fighting for justice for vulnerable seniors and their loved ones. We are deeply committed to being a voice for those who have endured unthinkable mistreatment at the hands of those entrusted with their care.
$13.5 Million
Jury Verdict 2021
$6 Million
Jury Verdict 2021
Over $40 Million
Recovered for Families
Learn More About Us
The Law Offices of Susan Kang Gordon in Orinda, CA

The Reality of Assisted Living Facility Abuse in California

In the San Francisco Bay Area, assisted living facilities (ALFs) and residential care facilities for the elderly (RCFEs) are envisioned as safe havens where seniors can find a balance between independence and assistance. But unlike nursing homes, which provide 24/7 nursing care, ALFs offer a lower level of support, just focusing on assisting with daily activities and not offering very much medical attention. Many of these establishments are failing to safeguard our seniors, leaving them susceptible to mistreatment and neglect.

As a result, elder abuse has sadly become all too common, and it’s exacerbated by lax regulations and oversight. Furthermore, California’s low ranking in ALF transparency compared to other states makes it even more difficult to detect and address abuse effectively.

This state of affairs is unacceptable. Seniors deserve dignity and safety, and they must be able to trust the facilities that house them. Tighter regulations, increased oversight, and greater transparency are urgently needed to protect vulnerable seniors and hold negligent facilities accountable.

Factors Contributing to Abuse in Assisted Living Facilities

Several factors contribute to the unacceptable prevalence of abuse in assisted living facilities:


When facilities don’t have enough staff, caregivers become overworked and stressed, which increases the risk of residents being neglected or mistreated. When stretched too thin, staff may not be able to provide the attentive care seniors need and deserve.

Poor Staff Training

Without thorough training, staff may not know how to properly care for residents or understand their unique needs. This can lead to mishandling, communication breakdowns, and even abusive situations. Comprehensive training is essential for providing safe, appropriate care.

Insufficient Oversight

A lack of supervision and oversight by management creates an environment where abusive behavior can go unchecked. Without adequate monitoring, mistreatment can continue undetected, seriously endangering residents’ safety and well-being. Proper supervision is crucial for preventing and promptly addressing any instances of abuse.

Types of Abuse that Can Occur in Assisted Living Facilities

Here are the most common forms of abuse found in ALFs:

Physical Abuse

The application of force that results in bodily harm or injury — including striking, slapping, shoving, or improperly restraining residents.

Sexual Abuse

Any non-consensual sexual activity, such as unwelcome touching, sexual assault, or coercion — perpetrators may include facility staff, fellow residents, or visitors.

Emotional or Psychological Abuse

Emotional distress inflicted through verbal or non-verbal means, including intimidation, humiliation, or social isolation.


The failure to provide sufficient care to fulfill a resident's fundamental needs, including nutrition, hydration, hygiene, medical care, or safety.

Financial Exploitation

The improper or unauthorized use of a resident's finances or assets for the benefit of another individual.

No matter the kind of abuse your loved one has suffered, our team is standing by to help.

Contact Our Team for a Confidential Consultation

Our assisted living abuse attorneys are ready to hold negligent facilities accountable.

Indicators of Assisted Living Abuse

Some common indicators of assisted living abuse include:

  • Visible signs of physical harm, such as bruises, bleeding, cuts, or lacerations.
  • Bedsores or rashes.
  • Unusual injuries like cigarette burns or burns shaped like objects.
  • Sprains, broken bones, or dislocations without a clear explanation.
  • More severe injuries, such as brain bleeds or amputations.
  • Significant weight loss.
  • Aspiration pneumonia is a serious respiratory condition commonly associated with poor oral hygiene or neglect.
  • Medication errors.

Family members and caregivers must remain vigilant for these signs and promptly report any suspicions of abuse or neglect to the appropriate authorities.

Can an Assisted Living Facility Be Held Liable for Negligence?

Assisted living facilities can indeed face legal action for neglect and abuse. However, to successfully pursue a case against such a facility, it’s essential to demonstrate that the facility was negligent and that this negligence directly caused harm to the resident. That’s why it’s crucial to gather sufficient evidence to support the claim, as not all injuries result from negligence.

Understanding Who Is Responsible

The primary responsibility for safeguarding the well-being and safety of residents rests with the facility itself. This encompasses the provision of sufficient care, supervision, and a secure environment.

Nonetheless, individual staff members — such as caregivers, nurses, and administrators — may also be held accountable if their conduct or failure to act contributes to instances of abuse.

Navigating the Statute of Limitations

The timeframe for filing a legal claim is determined by the statute of limitations. In California, you’re given two years to initiate a claim for physical abuse, while financial elder abuse cases extend this deadline to four years.

Typically, the clock begins ticking upon the discovery of the abuse or when it reasonably should have been discovered. However, factors like mental capacity can alter this timeframe.

Damages in a California Assisted Living Facility Lawsuit

The compensation you may pursue in an ALF abuse case is generally categorized into two types: economic and non-economic.

Economic compensation pertains to the tangible financial losses incurred due to the injury. This can include:

  • Expenses related to funerals and interments.
  • Costs associated with rehabilitation.
  • Medical expenses such as surgical procedures, medications, and doctor consultations.

To substantiate your claim for economic damages, you must present invoices and documentation that verify these costs.

Non-economic compensation, on the other hand, is more complex because it pertains to intangible losses, including:

  • Restrictions on the victim's capacity to lead a life as they did prior to the injury.
  • Emotional trauma.
  • Physical pain and suffering.

To validate your claim for non-economic damages, you must present evidence of abuse, neglect, or negligence on the part of the facility.

Steps to Report Abuse in an Assisted Living Facility

If you suspect any form of abuse or neglect in an assisted living facility, it is imperative to act promptly. In urgent situations, you should dial 911.

For non-urgent issues, you can report the incident to:

Afterward, consulting with a proficient attorney can offer invaluable assistance in navigating the legal pathways to address abuse and ensure justice for the victims.

Why Choose Susan Kang Gordon for Assisted Living Abuse Cases?

Susan Kang Gordon, A Professional Law Corporation stands out as a formidable presence in the realm of elder abuse law. Our founding attorney has earned prestigious accolades, such as being named Trial Lawyer of the Year 2022 by the San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association and Trial Lawyer of the Year 2021 by the Ventura County Trial Lawyers Association.

What distinguishes us is our exclusive focus on cases involving abuse within long-term care facilities. This focus allows us to delve deeply into the complexities of each case, offering an unparalleled level of skill that attorneys with a broader scope lack. We recognize that abuse within these facilities often originates from larger issues such as corporate misconduct and inadequate staffing, and we are relentless in holding all liable parties accountable.

At Susan Kang Gordon, A Professional Law Corporation, we tenaciously pursue justice, approaching each case with the same urgency and dedication as if it were a personal family matter. When you work with us, you’re not merely hiring legal representation — you’re gaining a passionate advocate who will unwaveringly support you throughout the legal process.

Our Recent Cases

$13.5 Million Verdict

10 elderly residents sued a nursing home for the neglect and abuse suffered at the hands of the operators. They alleged the failure to provide proper care for fall prevention, wounds, nutrition and hydration and medication management.

$6 Million Fee Award

For the cases which go to trial, we will always seek attorney’s fees directly from the defendant so that you do not have to pay us any fees from your award. In other words, we ask the Court to order the defendants to pay us our hourly fees. Fee awards are not granted for cases that result in a private settlement.


Confidential Settlement - resident is found dead in a bathtub. - $1,675,000.


Confidential Settlement - fall in residential care facility. - $1,500,000.


Confidential Settlement - fall in residential care facility - $975,000.


Confidential Settlement - A physical therapist's failure to transfer body properly results in hairline fracture to the leg - $800,000.



Susan did an amazing job representing our family in a complex and emotionally challenging legal matter. Susan was in it for the long haul, becoming both a trusted advisor and a voice of compassion throughout the process. Susan and her team always brought professionalism, empathy, dedication and skill to our case. She achieved a very positive outcome for us, and we couldn't have been happier with her representation. I would absolutely recommend her and SKG Law.

Tom Smith, Lafayette

Susan was great. She really cares and it shows. We won our case. We really appreciate Susan standing up for the little people.

Brent Baisch, Brentwood
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Don’t Delay Holding Negligent Facilities Accountable for the Harm They’ve Caused

Contact Susan Kang Gordon, A Professional Law Corporation today. Speaking with an experienced lawyer can help you pursue justice for your family member and ensure timely action.
Physical Address
2 Theatre Square, Suite 217, Orinda, CA 94563
(510) 400-6146
(510) 400-6148
Mailing Address
21C Orinda Way #162 Orinda, CA 94563
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