Papa is a company that connects their members (older adults) to real people for companionship, help with daily tasks, transportation, and more. Papa was founded in 2017 with the goal of addressing the country’s shortage of healthcare workers and caregivers and combining in with gig economy services – which ultimately created a gig economy version of a home assistance program. Today, it is valued at around $1.4 billion.
So, how does it work? Papas (the customers) can access Papa’s network via a mobile app where they can hire Pals (the contractors). Pals can see Papas on a map with details of the request submitted. Pals can go to their homes and help them with whatever task necessary – or to simply keep them company for some time.
Papa is actually offered through Medicare Advantage, Medicaid health plans, and employer-sponsored health programs. Without a doubt, the company has the potential to be very helpful to older adults and to their families. Unfortunately, Papa has been associated with many different incidents, most of which have left elderly clients harmed.
If you believe that a member of your family was the victim of elder abuse while using the Papa services, it is essential that you seek legal assistance with the experts here at our law firm as soon as possible. Here at the Downtown L.A. Law Group, our lawyers are more than ready to evaluate your claim and help you better understand the legal options available to you. For more information, we recommend that you seek legal assistance with the experts here at our law firm immediately.
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There are Thousands of Complaints noted by Papa
According to data released by Bloomberg, Papa has logged over 1,000 complaint reports. These include dozens of allegations of sexual harassment and sexual assault. Reports also include allegations of unlawful imprisonment, theft, and general dissatisfaction with the services provided by the company. Although many complaints are made by Papa’s against Pals – or by customers against the contractors – there are also many complaints coming from the contractors against the customers. These complaints include sexual harassment and hazardous conditions in the homes (including pest infestations and other health hazards, for instance.
A 70-Year-Old Woman was Allegedly Raped by a “Pal”
The victim resides in Duluth, Minnesota and uses a walker and power wheelchair to get around. She hired a Pal to help her with her grocery shopping. Upon returning home, she started moving the groceries inside her home. The Pal, Martin Jermaine Billue Sr., did not help with the groceries; instead, he allegedly changed clothes and surprised the victim in a bedroom – holding a knife and exposing his penis. Billue raped the victim and then demanded that the victim request him again on the Papa app.
According to a statement released by Papa, almost immediately after learning of the alleged rape, Billue was terminated, and an internal investigation was launched. They claim that they have reviewed their screening process to go above the industry standard for background checks, specifically. However, this is a little too late for the victim that was already raped.
Papa’s Failures have Resulting in the Harm of Elderly Customers
The company claims that prospective pals, or contractors, can apply online in just minutes. One woman who worked as a Pal stated that she did not have any sort of pre-hire interview or even had to talk to a real person before being hired and being able to take jobs. Unfortunately, gig economy companies usually just do the bare minimum when it comes to hiring. The norm is to subject prospective clients to background checks, but that is all – Pals are not subject to any training or supervision by the company. Papa is not a traditional home care company, so it is not subject to the hours of classroom supervision and practical training that is mandatory for home care aids under federal law.
So, is the company liable for the harm caused by the actions of their employees? Yes – the company could be liable. The truth is that all companies (yes, even those in the gig economy) have a duty to ensure that their employees do not pose a threat to their customers. This means that they must subject their workers to background checks (both initial background checks and routine background checks), thorough training, and supervision. It is also important that companies to have clear policies and procedures for when reports against their workers arise.
Can Papa be Liable for Elder Abuse?
Yes – the company could certainly be liable. Although many of these gig companies renounce liability for the actions of their employees, the truth is that they could still be held accountable and could be sued. For more information about the legal options available to you and your right to file an elder abuse lawsuit, contact the experts here at our law firm as soon as possible.
Can I Recover Compensation?
Yes, claimants could be eligible to recover compensation for elder abuse lawsuits. Depending on the details surrounding the claim, claimants could be eligible to recover compensation for medical costs, pain and suffering, punitive damages, and legal fees, for example. Here at our law firm, our team is more than ready to provide our clients with the representation that they need to fight for their rights and secure the settlement that they are owed. Our team is committed to getting our clients the highest recovery available for their claim.
In general, these claims can vary anywhere from $100,000 to $1.5 million – and sometimes more. Ultimately, case value is based on many different factors, like the type of harm suffered, for example. Our legal team knows how frustrating it can be to have to wait to settle a case, so we are committed to getting our clients a settlement within a reasonable timeframe. Although we can settle these cases in under eight months, some of these cases can take up to two years to settle.
Contact the Downtown L.A. Law Group Today
If you or a loved one was the victim of elder abuse at the hands of a Papa worker, we urge you to seek legal assistance as soon as possible. You could have the right to sue and recover compensation. For more information about the legal options available to you and your family, we urge you to contact us today. The experts here at the Downtown L.A. Law Group are more than ready to provide you with the guidance that you need to understand your rights and start the legal process. Here at our firm, we are proud to offer free legal services, which include free consultations and free second opinions. Whether you are looking to start or continue your claim after starting it elsewhere, you can trust that our legal team is more than ready to provide you with all the information that you need to pursue your claim. These are available as part of our Zero-Fee guarantee, which states that our clients will not be required to pay any upfront legal costs for any of our legal services. In addition, our team works on contingency; therefore, our clients will not be required to pay anything unless their claims are successful. If you do not win, you simply will not be required to pay anything.
If you are ready to speak to our elder abuse lawyers at our law firm, contact us today.
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