Hospitals Can Be Held Liable for Elder Abuse

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This past July, the Arizona Court of Appeals in Phoenix ruled that a senior citizen who was abused by hospital staff could sue the hospital for violating Arizona's Adult Protective Services Act. The court analyzed two cases — the first involved a patient who had received over 350 medications and medical interventions from medical staff, and the second case concerned accusations against hospital staff for performing unnecessary surgeries.

This change is significant because it allows individuals who have suffered elder abuse in a hospital setting to sue for both medical malpractice and elder abuse – whereas before they could only sue for medical malpractice.

Why is it important to be able to sue hospitals for elder abuse?

Because of these rulings, victims of hospital abuse can now be compensated for a wider range of out-of-pocket costs than for medical malpractice alone. For example, if your loved one suffered bedsores and you sue a hospital for medical malpractice alone, you may be able to recover damages for their medical care and pain and suffering, but not for investigative costs and expert witness costs. Where a bedsore warrants compensation of $50,000, but the cost of experts runs around $100,000, the ability to sue a hospital for elder abuse — and larger awards — can make the difference between obtaining and not obtaining compensation for valid injuries.

What types of elder abuse are covered by Arizona law?

Hospitals and other care providers may violate Arizona’s Adult Protective Services Act ("the Act") in a number of ways, including:

  • Physically assaulting a nursing home resident or hospital patient covered by the Act
  • Neglecting to feed a resident or patient
  • Unreasonably confining a resident or patient using medications or restraints
  • Permitting the perpetration of sexual abuse or assault on a resident or patient

If you recognize signs of elder abuse or have reason to believe that a family member may have suffered abuse at the hands of a hospital or a caregiver, you should immediately contact an experienced and aggressive Phoenix elder abuse attorney.

- See more at: http://www.ucalllaw.com/blog/hospitals-can-be-held-liable-for-elder-abuse/#top

This past July, the Arizona Court of Appeals in Phoenix ruled that a senior citizen who was abused by hospital staff could sue the hospital for violating Arizona's Adult Protective Services Act. The court analyzed two cases — the first involved a patient who had received over 350 medications and medical interventions from medical staff, and the second case concerned accusations against hospital staff for performing unnecessary surgeries.

This change is significant because it allows individuals who have suffered elder abuse in a hospital setting to sue for both medical malpractice and elder abuse – whereas before they could only sue for medical malpractice.

Why is it important to be able to sue hospitals for elder abuse?

Because of these rulings, victims of hospital abuse can now be compensated for a wider range of out-of-pocket costs than for medical malpractice alone. For example, if your loved one suffered bedsores and you sue a hospital for medical malpractice alone, you may be able to recover damages for their medical care and pain and suffering, but not for investigative costs and expert witness costs. Where a bedsore warrants compensation of $50,000, but the cost of experts runs around $100,000, the ability to sue a hospital for elder abuse — and larger awards — can make the difference between obtaining and not obtaining compensation for valid injuries.

What types of elder abuse are covered by Arizona law?

Hospitals and other care providers may violate Arizona’s Adult Protective Services Act ("the Act") in a number of ways, including:

  • Physically assaulting a nursing home resident or hospital patient covered by the Act
  • Neglecting to feed a resident or patient
  • Unreasonably confining a resident or patient using medications or restraints
  • Permitting the perpetration of sexual abuse or assault on a resident or patient