Abuse of Elders in Nursing Homes Revealed by Civil Justice System

In a new study released recently by the American Association for Justice (AAJ), the civil justice system was found to be the most effective method for revealing nursing home abuse by corporate-run homes, as well as uncovering insurance companies who take advantage and even target elderly residents.

Our Baltimore, Maryland nursing home abuse attorneys have been following the report, entitled, “Standing up For Seniors: How the Civil Justice System Protects Elderly Americans.” The study claims that there are 1.5 million seniors living in nursing facilities, many of which are run by large corporation chains as investments, focusing on profit and not care. The AAJ report also reveals that many nursing home residents have experienced severe nursing home abuse and neglect, leading to wrongful death from infections or dehydration, caused by improper resident care. The report on seniors reportedly reveals how litigation has helped residents and families ensure that corporations are held accountable for this neglect and abuse, and reveal the systemic problem in homes today.

The AAJ’s report also finds insurance companies accountable for taking advantage of elderly residents and senior citizens. In one case, a former farmer from South Dakota, reportedly enlisted long-term health care insurance in the 1990’s. After moving into a nursing facility, his benefits were reportedly severely reduced, even thought he paid his premium every month. The insurance company reportedly declared that his healthcare was no longer medically necessary.

Thousands of elderly individuals have reportedly experienced similar treatment as insurance companies have wrongly estimated rates of mortality, and found ways to deny seniors’ claims and terminate benefits.

According to the report, while litigation has helped to stop these corporate practices, and systemic nursing home abuse and neglect, many offenses are still not reportedly revealed due to the nursing home arbitration clauses embedded in contracts, that residents and families of the residents rarely see, not realizing that their rights to access court are being taken away from them. Representative Linda Sanchez (D-CA) introduced legislation last year aiming to eliminate forced arbitration in nursing home contracts.

In Maryland or the Washington D.C. area, contact our nursing home attorneys at Lebowitz and Mzhen, LLC for a free consultation.

Civil Justice System Uncovers Abuse and Neglect of Elderly Americans, Kansas City.com/American Association for Justice, October 7, 2010
H.R. 1237 – Fairness in Nursing Home Arbitration Act of 2009, Open Congress.org, February 26, 2009

Related Web Resources:

National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA)

Maryland Department of Aging

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