Protecting a family business: Assisting Assisted Living

The mother and son owned six assisted living facilities employing approximately 60 full and part-time employees. Some were salaried, others paid on an hourly basis. When they fired an incompetent employee, the employee returned the favor by filing a wage-and-hours lawsuit, alleging underpayment. Because employees were not required to keep time sheets and the law in this area favors employees, the owners were anticipating a judgment in favor of the employee.

Even more than this isolated lawsuit, their greatest fear was a class-action lawsuit that they were sure the plaintiff's attorney was considering. It was important to terminate this lawsuit quickly and establish to the plaintiff's attorney that there was no pot of gold at the end of the litigation rainbow. To do this, they had to implement asset protection planning... and quickly.

Our firm developed and implemented an asset protection plan for them within four days. Two days later, the plaintiff's attorney was apprised of the owners' new asset ownership structure. Although the plaintiff could have challenged the implemented planning as a fraudulent transfer, for some reason they chose not to. It is possible that the plaintiff's attorney, who was working on a contingency basis and anticipating an easy kill, did not want to go through protracted and expensive litigation challenging asset transfers. Even if the challenges were successful, the plaintiff may not have been able to recover the transferred assets. Our clients were very grateful.