This Is Luxury Retirement?

Hostility at this facility dates back about a dozen years. In mid-1996, the California Department of Social Services declared that the financial condition was unsound. Then in 1996, management riled residents by stating, "Materials published by La Jolla Village Towers could be construed to mean that La Jolla Village Towers will provide care at the facility for a resident's life." But because the developers hadn't received financing, it wasn't necessarily so, the residents were warned. The developers went into Chapter 7 (liquidation) bankruptcy in late 1996. Later, that was boosted to Chapter 11 (reorganization).

Hyatt and a major creditor bought it out of bankruptcy in 1998. For a while, the rancor evanesced, but then it flared up again in recent years over the same topic: the residents thought they had prepaid for long-term care but say they were duped. They were still paying, and the care facility was insufficient. Further, the noise and loss of amenities from the construction of the second tower took away what luxury the place had.

"We trusted that [Hyatt] had actuarial accounting," says Gleason. "Older people thought it was a gilt-edged company."

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