The Law on Nursing Home Abuse is Ever-Changing
Attorneys know that state laws are always changing and it is important to remain up to date with them. Recently, House Bill 1029 almost passed through the legislature and became law. If it had passed, it would have provided great immunity to nursing homes when residents passed away, even if the death was caused by the nursing home’s negligence. Below, our Tampa nursing home death lawyer explains more.
Provisions of the Proposed Law
The proposed law was intended to reduce the amount of lawsuits being filed against businesses and to curb what Governor Ron DeSantis called a “cottage industry of litigation.” Supporters of the proposed law said at the time that the cost and resources necessary to defend against these lawsuits detracts from patient care.
However, there is little data to support the idea that nursing homes were targeted through frivolous lawsuits.
Under HB 1029, only the surviving spouse or children under 25 could file a wrongful death lawsuit against a nursing home facility in the event that their loved one passed away while in the facility. The biggest problem with the proposed bill was the fact that few nursing home residents have spouses, or children who are under the age of 25. Most of the lawsuits filed against nursing homes are brought by adult children who are older than 25 years old. Currently, the law allows these individuals to still file a claim against a facility.
What Happened with the Law?
HB 1029 was first filed in February of this year and was then referred to many subcommittees. In May of 2023, it died in the civil justice subcommittee, meaning the bill will not take effect. Still, with the legislature putting the focus on protecting businesses instead of the most vulnerable sector of our society, there is no guarantee that another similar bill will not be proposed in the future.
Why is HB 1029 Important?
It is natural to assume that because the bill died, there is nothing to worry about. While that may be fairly true for the time-being, the fact that this bill made it as far as it did is concerning.
It is important to ensure that all loved ones of nursing home residents can take legal action when a family member passes away, regardless of their age. Filing a lawsuit not only compensates family members, but it also holds the facility accountable and helps ensure similar negligent actions will not occur in the future.
The fact that HB 1029 made it as far as it did in the legislature also highlights the importance of working with an attorney any time you plan to take legal action. An attorney will remain updated with all the ever-changing laws to make sure you know your rights and obligations.
Call Our Nursing Home Death Lawyer in Tampa for Help with Your Case
If your loved one has been harmed due to nursing home negligence, you need sound advice moving forward with your case. At Kohn Law, our Tampa nursing home death lawyer can advise you of your rights, ensure they are always protected, and help your family obtain the best possible outcome. Call us now at 813-428-8504 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation and to learn more.