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New Legislation Places Nursing Home Abuse Victims At Risk

Misinformation and scare tactics by certain big interest groups continue to succeed in driving misguided legislation through state legislatures that take away the rights of injured victims, including those who suffer from nursing homes negligence. The Orlando Sentinel recently reported on the latest state legislature to take the misguided step on so-called tort reform.

Last week Florida lawmakers passed a bill that changed the way the way “expert witnesses” are used in lawsuits. Specifically, the new bill requires out of state expert witnesses to obtain a certificate from the state health department before providing any testimony in a case. There are also stricter disciplinary standards for those witnesses. The overall purpose of the measure is to make it harder for those injured because of mistakes made by their medical professional to recover for the losses that they sustain.

Some other provisions in the bill apply specifically to medical malpractice cases, which are different though often complementary to nursing home abuse cases. The care provided at nursing homes involves a mix of medical care and basic physical assistance. However, all assisted living facilities have nurses on staff who provide much of the same medical care that a patient would receive at a hospital. Many of the same types of mistakes can therefore be made by nurses at both types of facilities. For example, medication errors are common at nursing homes, where residents are injured or killed by the poor handling of dangerous prescription drugs.

Our Chicago nursing home lawyers at Levin & Perconti encourage all those who care about the proper treatment of patients and residents in all contexts-at hospitals and nursing homes-work hard to fight efforts that limit the legal rights of victims. Contact your state representatives, state senators, federal lawmakers, and activists groups to stand up to these big interests that want to increase their own profit at the expense of average citizen victims.

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