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Nursing homes are now big business. Corporate chains are anticipating a flood of baby boomers moving into their facilities over the next few years. This increased emphasis on profits has led to a distressing rise in neglected and abused seniors. Between 2000 and 2008, instances of “immediate jeopardy”—violations likely to result in serious harm or even death—rose 22 percent. More than 90 percent of all nursing homes were guilty of at least one violation.
There are many laws and regulations aimed at protecting seniors. Yet government agencies, non-profit watchdogs and media organizations consistently report that serious problems exist in our nation’s nursing homes.
The same is true of insurance companies that mislead and defraud vulnerable seniors. Insurance industry regulators protest that they can do nothing. Even when they do raise their hands, they more often than not strike deals to keep fines to a minimum and settlements secret.
With the regulatory and legislative bodies unable to cope with a groundswell of neglect and abuse, the civil justice system has stepped into the breach. Attorneys who represent our nation’s seniors, and their families, play a critical role in uncovering abuse and neglect, and are the most effective force to compel corporate nursing homes to fix their conduct.
Download AAJ's report, "Standing Up For Seniors: How the Civil Justice System Protects Elderly Americans"
Below is an image that details how trial attorneys and the civil justice system have protected elderly Americans. Click here to receive a printable version of the slide.