A bill that could potentially hinder how attorneys would introduce evidence in nursing home medical malpractice cases in Tennessee has come under fire by patient advocates.
According to WREG-TV, Tennessee State Senator Brian Kelsey and Representative Leigh Wilburn have sponsored Senate Bill 889, which you can read about by clicking here.
The bill would prohibit the “use of a survey, inspection, or investigation of a healthcare provider that is conducted by a state or federal department or agency as evidence in a healthcare liability action, except to impeach a witness, or in an advertisement, unless certain criteria are met,” in medical malpractice cases.
We certainly do not support this bill, which looks to reduce litigation costs for nursing homes at the expense of their residents. Many attorneys, including those talked to by WREG, also oppose the legislation. They feel as though nursing homes that violate their duties to care for the elderly should be held responsible and all evidence that is relevant should be allowed to be included in cases.
Keep in mind, instances of nursing home abuse and neglect can include employee assaults, bedsores, slip-and-falls and mistakes with drugs. All of these items can cause an elderly patient great harm. If a nursing home contributes to these issues, it should be held liable.
SB 889 began attracting media attention after WREG conducted a story about instances of alleged abuse at Memphis-area nursing homes. WREG reported that dozens of viewers contacted it after its original story aired, saying that their family members might have also suffered due to negligence at nursing homes.
We will keep you updated about this legislation in the future. As of last week, the Senate version of the bill was with the Senate Judiciary Committee, while the House version was going to the Health Subcommittee.
Remember, to view information about Tennessee nursing home inspections, visit the state site.
Speaking to an Attorney About a Nursing Home Abuse or Neglect Claim
If a nursing home has harmed your loved one, it may be wise to speak to an attorney and contact the local authorities. An attorney could potentially investigate your case and help you move forward with litigation.
Remember, you should not allow your family member to suffer at the hands of a poorly staffed or maintained nursing home. If he or she has been harmed, you may be able to collect damages on his or her behalf.
Continue to follow our blog and visit us on Facebook for more information about nursing home abuse and neglect.
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