Civil Suits Uncover Nursing Home Abuse

Civil suits help uncover abuses by nursing home and insurance companies. Where regulatory and legislative bodies have been unable to cope with this distressing rise of neglect and abuse of our elderly, the civil justice system has stepped into the breach. A report, “Standing Up for Seniors: How the Civil Justice System Protects Elderly Americans,” reveals that litigation is critically important to protect nursing home residents.

According to the report, the vast majority of the nursing facilities that house more than 1.5 million elderly Americans are owned by private corporate chains, making it difficult for consumers to hold them accountable for abuse. The report also asserts that insurance companies are more likely to take advantage of older patients with practices like miscalculating mortality rates, denying claims and cutting off benefits for needed treatments.

The report outlines how, through litigation, trial attorneys across the country have uncovered evidence of corporate programs aimed at terminating seniors’ benefits as well as evidence of nursing home abuse and neglect. The report warns that efforts to combat nursing home abuses through civil suits are hampered by the use of mandatory arbitration clauses in nursing home and insurance contracts.


Gayle R. Lewis, Esquire