Florida: Elderly Advocates Battle Bill to Limit Punitive Damages Against Nursing Homes

Families of nursing home patients and advocates for the elderly are once again fighting legislation that would make it tougher to sue the homes for neglect.

Despite the emotional testimony from the families of nursing home patients who suffered abuses, the bill cleared its last stop on Monday — with a 12-3 vote by the Senate Rules Committee — and is headed to the Senate floor.

Ken Thurston and his sister, Sandra Banning, who have been speaking out against this legislation, told committee members their mother, Virginia, was raped in 2002 at a Jacksonville nursing home by another resident with a history of sexual assaults. The siblings never collected a $750,000 verdict from the owner of the Glenwood Nursing Center (then called Southwood), which was later shut down. The siblings fear it will be even harder to have any recourse against a troubled nursing home if SB 1384 becomes a law.

“When we decided to sue the nursing home, money had nothing to do with it,” Banning said. “I wanted a judgment to be able to force a change.”

Thurston asked the panel: “Who benefits from this legislation? To put it another way, whose rights are being subordinated and whose are being protected by this bill?”

The nursing home industry “is just asking for fairness,” said Kristen Knapp, communications director for the Florida Health Care Association, the trade group representing 500 of the state’s nearly 700 nursing home facilities.

Full Article and Source:
Tallahassee:  Elderly Advocates Battle Bill to Limit Punitive Damages Against Nursing Homes


3 Responses to “Florida: Elderly Advocates Battle Bill to Limit Punitive Damages Against Nursing Homes”

  1. StandUp Says:

    I wish them luck and they're going to need it to beat the nursing home industry.

  2. Anonymous Says:

    The nursing home industry sure has a good thing going.

  3. Karen Says:

    I admire their spunk. Can't beat the nursing home industry but we also can't give up.

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