Patients Allowed to Sue Over Nursing Home Care

A group of patients in California will be allowed to sue the owner of 16 different nursing homes over alleged violations of nurse staffing standards, according to SFGate.com. The company, which owns 16 nursing homes in Alameda County, wanted to dismiss the lawsuit, claiming that state regulators were the only entities that have the power to enforce those standards. The Superior Court did throw out the lawsuit, but that judge was overruled by the First District Court of Appeal in San Francisco.

The ruling that overturned the dismissal was 3-0 and one of the judges wrote that the law does allow nursing home residents to bring actions on their own. This lawsuit, at the heart of it, has to do with the nursing home facilities not meeting the 3.2 hours of nursing care each day requirement of California law. In any nursing home, there will be standards as to how much care that a patient needs to receive and, when they do not, filing a lawsuit is sometimes the best option.

Lacking Care

While some people are abused in a nursing home physically or psychologically, others are abused by not being given the care that they need. This may not seem like as much of a risk to the patient, but it’s important to remember that some people in nursing homes have conditions that do require a great deal of care. These conditions are not all particularly complex. For example, someone who has simply lost a lot of their mobility will require a great deal of care in terms of being rolled over in bed, bathed and so forth so that they avoid bed sores and infections.

Denial of care can also be a form of outright abuse as retaliation. Patients who are sometimes difficult to be cared for may find themselves being singled out by staff and being deliberately ignored as a form of punishment or simply to allow the staff to avoid dealing with a complicated situation.

Anybody in a nursing home is paying a great deal of money for the care that they are supposed to receive. When they do not receive that care, it is a form of abuse. For some of these patients, filing a civil lawsuit against the nursing home owner, the staff or another entity may be the best option available. Some lawyers will take these lawsuits on a contingency agreement, which allows nursing home residents to go ahead and pursue their claim without paying upfront legal fees.

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