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A new bill has been submitted to the Florida Legislature, and it is nothing less than an all out attack on nursing home residents who have no ability to protect themselves from this predatory industry. House Bill 661 has been offered by Representative Matt Gaetz of Fort Walton Beach. A summary of its provisions can be found here.
This bill caps damages awardable to vulnerable abused and neglected nursing home residents at only $ 250,000 no matter how serious the injuries or abuse. It also immunizes owners from much liability, eliminating legal theories against those with “controlling interest” in each nursing home, thereby allowing the people who earn millions of dollars in Medicare and Medicaid dollars to shield themselves from accountability through mazes of corporate entities and other crafty but legal asset protection maneuvers. It also precludes as evidence in any case the testimony of witnesses who actually observe that the nursing home is understaffed!
This bill is the most irresponsible piece of legislation proposed to affect the rights of abused and neglected elderly Floridians in 10 years. It does nothing to benefit or protect the elderly and everything to further limit an elder’s ability to hold accountable those who abuse or neglect our most vulnerable citizens. Call your legislator and tell them to vote against this bill!!