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Nursing Homes Abuse Blog By Jonathan Rosenfeld

Litigation

court casesBringing litigation against nursing homes is not something people should use to get rich, but we do believe that it is our right to start legal proceedings against nursing homes if it is obvious that someone we care about is hurt because of abuse or neglect.

However, it has become painfully obvious that there are some politicians that would rather pander to the demands of large investment groups actively buying nursing home chains than to care for the people who need their help the most. One such example is Florida Senate bill SB 1384 – a bill that thankfully died in budget, but still shows the brazen attempts to decrease the rights of elderly Americans and their family and loved ones.

What would change?

With the current law, it is important that plaintiffs have enough evidence to support their claim, enough so that it is a “reasonable showing.” The bill in Florida would require a plaintiff to present evidence to a judge first. That evidence would have to be “clear and convincing.” All of this would take place at a pretrial hearing, meaning that this would determine whether the plaintiff is even allowed to continue with legal action.

Why a nursing home lawsuit can be important

The truth is that it is important that people have the option to bring forth litigation against nursing homes in cases of abuse or neglect. Oftentimes these elderly residents need all the support they can get, we should be making sure that these elderly patients are treated with care and dignity instead of making it impossible to hold nursing homes responsible.

Some will suggest that this is about money, and it is to a degree, just not the way people think. Many of these investment companies buy large nursing home chains in order to make a profit. Simply complaining is not going to do anything when dealing with these large investment companies. However, if you force them to make changes to their day-to-day operations or risk punitive damages, chances are that you have their attention. To enforce a change, a change that can improve the care for other people, is worth far more than any cash settlement.

It is about justice

There have even been those who suggest that filing a nursing home lawsuit after a preventable death of a loved one in a nursing home is ‘a money ploy’. The truth is that for many families, closure is what they want most, a sense of recognition that what happened to someone they loved was wrong. Oftentimes these large corporations refuse to answer to individuals until they somehow turn to legal representation.

Essentially, these rulings would make it so there would be no way to punish a nursing home. Critics suggest that the threshold for gross negligence or intentional misconduct is set so high in this most recent Florida bill that it would be unreasonable.

What this would do is remove the deterrent factor, essentially letting these large companies do what they want. This is not an acceptable measure and those politicians who chose to put corporate interests before their constituents will hopefully find out why this is a bad idea in the next election.

 


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