Washington, DC

By Personal Injury Attorney Sean Domnick of Domnick Cunningham & Whalen

Nursing home abuse continues to plague the health care system for elders across the United States. Most Americans are unaware of the risks associated when placing loved ones in the care of a nursing home.

For years, health care for older Americans has been broken due to neglect and ineffective laws. The federal government has worked to tackle abuse by issuing a rule which prevents nursing homes from forcing claims of elder abuse, sexual harassment and wrongful death.

Traditionally, nursing homes disputes are sent to arbitration; however, an agency within the Health and Human Services Agency argues that these cases should be handled in court. Due to this new rule, major new protections are to affect nursing homes with 1.5 million residents.

Previously, a nursing home’s reliance on arbitration kept safety and the quality of care out of public view. The current system has helped the nursing home industry reduce its legal obligations.

Recent cases involving the murder of nursing home residents generated debate on the current system. A 100-year-old woman was found murdered in a nursing home strangled by her roommate and a 94-year-old woman died from a head wound, both cases initially blocked by court.

After officials in 16 states including the District of Columbia complained about the blatant patterns of wrongdoing, funding was cut. The rule is scheduled to go into effect by November, with the final version noting nursing homes that require arbitration clauses as a condition of admission will no longer be funded.

“Although nursing homes argue this new rule could increase costs and force homes to close, abuse cannot continue,” said Sean Domnick, a nursing home abuse lawyer with Domnick Cunningham & Whalen. “The rule requiring nursing home disputes to move from arbitration to court diminishes a loophole in the system, seeking justice for the countless victims and families suffering.”

Due to the vast amount of nursing home abuse cases that have not been held accountable, the federal government is working to prevent such carelessness. If you or a loved one has suffered such neglect, contact a nursing home abuse attorney in your state immediately.

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