A report released in October 2010 by the American Association for Justice (AAJ) illustrates how the civil justice system is the most effective force in uncovering abuses by corporate nursing homes and insurance companies that target elderly Americans.
Nursing homes are now big business. Corporate chains are anticipating a flood of baby boomers moving into their facilities over the next few years. This increased emphasis on profits has led to a distressing rise in neglected and abused seniors. Between 2000 and 2008, instances of “immediate jeopardy”— violations likely to result in serious harm or even death — rose 22 percent. More than 90 percent of all nursing homes were guilty of at least one violation.
There are many laws and regulations aimed at protecting seniors. Yet government agencies, non-profit watchdogs, and media organizations consistently report that serious problems exist in our nation’s nursing homes.
The same is true of insurance companies that mislead and defraud vulnerable seniors. Financial exploitation of the elderly is common. Insurance industry regulators protest that they can do nothing. Even when they do raise their hands, they often strike deals to keep fines to a minimum and settlements secret.
With the regulatory and legislative bodies unable to cope with a groundswell of neglect and abuse, the civil justice system has stepped in. Attorneys who represent our nation’s seniors and their families play a critical role in uncovering abuse and neglect. They are the most effective force to compel corporate nursing homes to fix their conduct.
Click Here to read the full report.