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Pennsylvania Legislature Votes Against Bill Capping Punitive Damages in Nursing Home Abuse Cases

The Pennsylvania House of Representatives recently voted against a bill that would have put a cap on the punitive damages that could be awarded to victims in verdicts against nursing homes in the state.

This bill sought to apply the Medical Care Availability and Reduction of Error (MCARE) Act to assisted living facilities and nursing homes, which would have capped these damages to 250 percent of the compensatory damages awarded.

“This bill demonstrates that the Pennsylvania legislature, which remains majority-controlled by Republicans, works very hard to balance the interests of its individual constituents and the business interests here in Pennsylvania,” attorney Robert L. Sachs, Jr. said in an interview with the Pennsylvania Record. “And I think that this outcome is a very good example of them striving to strike a balance. From our perspective, we think they have found an appropriate balance at this time.”

With the recent attention on nursing homes resulting from the death of H.R. McMaster, Sr., who died in the Cathedral Village nursing facility in Philadelphia, Sachs noted that this bill was brought to the House at an inopportune time.

According to Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro, a nurse at the facility is accused of failing to provide adequate care to McMaster, Sr. and falsifying medical records, in addition to other charges.

“That received a great deal of press, and the care that our most vulnerable citizens, [those] being senior citizens, receive is the focus of a great deal of inquiry right now and appropriately so. Because of some very high-profile events that have sadly taken the lives of seniors across Pennsylvania, I don’t think those advancing this legislation picked the best time to pursue it,” Sachs said.

The bill barely passed the House Judiciary Committee in September of 2017 with a 14-13 vote, and failed to pass the House with a 103-91 vote against.

At Shrager, Sachs, & Blanco, our Philadelphia nursing home abuse attorneys are committed to providing our clients with the dedicated and experienced legal representation they require in their time of need. Over the past 40 years, we have successfully secured hundreds of millions of dollars in verdicts and settlements for our clients, and we put the knowledge we’ve gained across the countless cases we’ve handled to use putting your case together in order to secure you the maximum compensation possible. Call our firm today to discuss your legal options with a member of our firm, or send us your information through our online form to fill us in about your situation.

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