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Appellate Court Recognizes New Cause of Action for Civil Rights Violations at Nursing Home

The Third U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that the Federal Nursing Home Reform Amendments give residents of county-run nursing homes the right to bring civil rights claims under Section 1983 to challenge the quality of their treatment. The court says that these provisions make clear that nursing homes must provide a basic level of service and care for residents and Medicaid patients. Under this law, nursing homes “are required to care for residents in a manner promoting quality of life, provide services and activities to maintain the highest practicable physical, mental and psychosocial well-being of residents. The ruling revives a suit by the estate of a woman who died in the nursing home as a result of elderly neglect, malnourishment and bed sores that were so severe they led to a fatal case of sepsis. This nursing home decision will greatly impact nursing home negligence lawsuits. To read more about the appellate decision, please click the link.