Juries typically recognize that
nursing home abuse causes severe consequences and permanent emotional scarring, and occurs
due to preventable mistakes or intentional harm. As a result, some cases
close with a seven-figure award amount that the harmed elder and their
family absolutely deserves. A recently proposed bill could counteract
progress, though, by seriously limiting how much a plaintiff can collect
in noneconomic damages for successful nursing home abuse claims.
HR Bill 1215, which is being advertised as the “Protecting Access
to Care Act of 2017,” would limit noneconomic damages in nursing
home abuse cases to just $250,000, regardless of the details of the case.
The number of victims, the extent of the harm, and the intent of the abuser
would all be irrelevant if this bill is allowed to pass. Even in cases
where an elder is sexually abused repeatedly, the noneconomic cap would
be just $250,000.
Noneconomic damages in an injury claim are related to emotional suffering
and psychological harm caused by a traumatic or painful event. Punitive
damages to punish an abuser who had criminal intent when hurting a nursing
home resident is also considered noneconomic damages and would be subject
to the proposed cap. The only damages that would not be limited would
be those related to paying for medical treatments to address the harm caused.
It is worth noting that the nursing home industry is valued at an annual
amount of $130 billion, and $10 billion of that amount is considered to
be direct profit. There is no reason to cap noneconomic damages at just
$250,000. Lawsuits against nursing homes and parent companies are not
frequent or significant enough to jeopardize the industry. The cap is
surely only to benefit the abusers while simultaneously and possibly inadvertently
spreading the false idea that nursing home abuse is nothing to worry over.
As steadfast defenders of the wrongfully injured, our Philadelphia personal
injury attorneys at Shrager & Sachs stands against HR Bill
1215. If you think imposing this limit and crippling your right to recovery
if you or a loved one is hurt by nursing home abuse, we encourage you
to contact your local representatives or Congress members to let them
know you do not approve of HR Bill 1215.
If you need our help with a nursing home abuse or injury claim of your
own, feel free to
contact our team at any time. You can also call
888.899.0652 to schedule a