While it is out of our jurisdiction it is worth noting that the 3rd Circuit has recognized a cause of action for civil rights violations at nursing homes resulting from inadequate and abusive treatment. The case is Grammer v. John J. Kane Regional Centers.
The Court held that the Federal Nursing Home Reform Amendments (FNHRA) “is explicitly and unambiguously rights-creating,” and that its provisions make clear that “nursing homes must provide a basic level of service and care for residents and medicaid patients.”
Under the law, nursing homes:
are required to care for residents in a manner promoting quality of life, provide services and activities to maintain the highest practicable physical, mental and psychosocial well-being of residents, and conduct comprehensive assessments of their functional abilities…
According to the holding the FNHRA also:
specifically guarantees nursing home residents the right to be free from physical or mental abuse, corporal punishment, involuntary seclusion, and any physical or chemical restraints imposed for the purposes of discipline or convenience and not required to treat their medical symptoms.
Recent years have seen an increase in nursing home abuse and neglect cases because families have finally begun to speak up for their loved ones who are often unable to fight for themselves. This is an important decision and gives federal support to this area of tort law.
If you believe a family member has been subjected to nursing home abuse or neglect, please contact my office for a free consultation.