When patients become the victims of nursing home abuse, it falls on their family members to take legal action against the care center that was supposed to care for them. Nursing homes are expensive options and are often used as a last resort when a person is no longer able to take care of themselves and requires constant assistance. Most occupants are older citizens who are unable to speak up when they are a victim of abuse such as malnutrition, physical or sexual assault or neglect.
New Yorkers may want to pay close attention to a legislative bill that has been introduced in another state. That bill, if passed, will create a three-doctor panel that will issue court-admissible opinions on claims of nursing home abuse. One senator who argued against the bill said that he believes nursing home industry lobbyists are behind the bill and that the bill would interfere with victims and families seeking justice.
Supporters of the bill claim that the piece of legislature will help cut down on frivolous lawsuits and the culture of blame. The bill's sponsor refused to answer questions about the bill, which was passed. The sponsor did say that the bill would not stop a case from going to trial.
It was not disclosed how the doctors on the panel would be chosen and whether they would have any connection to the nursing home industry. Since the bill would allow their opinions to be used in a case, families and victims could well find themselves at a distinct disadvantage, given the expert background of the panel members.
Source: The Courier-Journal, "Nursing home bill advances: Lawsuit-review panel measure OK'd by Kentucky Senate," Jessie Halladay, Feb. 13, 2013