By: Jeff D. Stewart
Nursing home abuse is a serious problem. Unfortunately, the West Virginia Legislature has taken action that will limit the rights of abuse victims to seek justice. Senate Bill 338, which will become law in July, will place new limits on where and when lawsuits against nursing home abuse can be filed. That means that anyone with a claim of abuse should seek legal counsel.
Right now, people have two years after an incident of abuse to file suit. Senate Bill 338 will cut that time in half. Also, the new law will limit which courthouses where such lawsuits can be filed. That might be good for the large corporate interests that pushed for the new law but not for people who want justice from unfair and illegal treatment.
What types of problems can be considered abuse? Malnutrition and dehydration, and bedsores, which can lead to more serious conditions, are among them. And don’t think that falls are inevitable among the elderly. Each nursing home should take a multidisciplinary approach to preventing falls. Failure to do so could be considered a form of abuse. Also, if problems occur, a nursing home cannot use understaffing as an excuse.
If you have a loved one who has suffered such problems in a nursing home, you might have legal recourse. But don’t wait to exercise your legal rights. After the new law takes effect in July, you won’t have the same rights you have now.
Consider calling leaders in the field, such as Stewart Bell, PLLC of Charleston, which has successfully represented many families in cases against nursing homes on behalf of abused and neglected elderly residents and their families. The initial consultation is free, and Stewart Bell, PLLC gets paid only if the case is won. Getting ready to put someone in a nursing home? Call for a free document review. More information is available toll-free at 800-342-1701.
This message is intended to make the reader aware of changes in the law but not to give legal advice. If you have questions, contact Stewart Bell, PLLC.