Abuse in nursing homes: Another reason to oppose 'tort reform' | Arkansas Blog

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Abuse in nursing homes: Another reason to oppose 'tort reform'

Posted By on Thu, Feb 23, 2017 at 10:58 AM

click to enlarge CNN SPECIAL REPORT: It inspires comments to connection on pending Arkanss legislation.
  • CNN SPECIAL REPORT: It inspires comments to connection on pending Arkanss legislation.

CNN couldn't have been more timely
for Arkansas with a monumental investigation of nursing home abuse cases around the country.

It's not specifically about Arkansas, but we are not immune from negligence and abuse cases here. CNN focused on sexual abuse cases.

In cases reviewed by CNN, victims and their families were failed at every stage. Nursing homes were slow to investigate and report allegations because of a reluctance to believe the accusations — or a desire to hide them. Police viewed the claims as unlikely at the outset, dismissing potential victims because of failing memories or jumbled allegations. And because of the high bar set for substantiating abuse, state regulators failed to flag patterns of repeated allegations against a single caregiver.

It's these systemic failures that make it especially hard for victims to get justice — and even easier for perpetrators to get away with their crimes.
That's a worthy topic of discussion. But the current relevance is this: the effort in the legislature to put a constitutional amendment on the ballot to reduce attorney fees and awards in damage cases of all sorts, but particularly nursing homes. The amendment effectively sets a cap on the life of an elderly person in a nursing home, with no earning ability, at $250,000, for the worst sort of abuse.

Comments from Martha Deaver, president of Arkansas Advocates for Nursing Home Residents,  and Retired Col. Mike Ross of North Little Rock, chairman of the board for Veterans Villages of America.

From Martha Deaver:

“Wednesday morning, CNN released an in-depth report on an epidemic of rape and sexual abuse in America’s nursing homes, many of which are corporate-run homes. The report detailed horrific abuses, the likes of which have occurred right here in Arkansas. This is a glaring reason why corporate nursing homes should not have special protections like those offered in SJR8. Nursing home residents who are often as vulnerable as infants and unable to fight off an attack are suffering the worst indignities and abuse. People should be very alarmed at what’s going on and consider that in neighboring states like Texas, the people have no way to hold corporate nursing homes accountable.

This explosive CNN report comes on the heels of the 2017 AARP report just released in January, which outlines the horrific abuses going on in over 900 Texas nursing homes, the majority of which are corporate run. Every nursing home resident deserves to be kept safe, but SJR8 will take away our ability to protect them."

 From Col. Ross:

“What CNN reported is disgusting. Rape and sexual abuse should never happen to anyone, but horrifically, this and other types of nursing home abuse happen more than the average person knows about. It appears that some of our legislators have sided with special interests who want to pass the proposed constitutional amendment SJR8, which will allow corporate nursing homes to budget for abuses like rape and sexual assault. But we still have the chance to fight for the safety of our nursing home residents by telling our representatives to vote no on SJR8. If we don't fight to protect our vulnerable citizens now, then we may not have anyone fighting for us when we are lying in the nursing home beds. I urge everyone to call your state representative today and tell them to vote no on SJR8."

Tags: , , , , ,

From the ArkTimes store



Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

Readers also liked…

  • Jason Rapert vs. Wikipedia

    Sen. Jason Rapert against the world: Wikipedia edition.
    • Jan 23, 2016
  • Auditor Lea caught not telling the truth

    State Auditor Andrea Lea, who began her tenure in statewide office with a degree of competence unseen in some other Republican counterparts (think Treasurer Dennis Milligan particularly), is becoming more deeply mired in a political scandal.
    • Mar 4, 2016
  • Another Republican miracle-working governor

    Great piece in Washington Post on the budget crisis in Louisiana. Big tax cuts and corporate welfare will do that to a state, particularly to a state whose previous governor, Republican Bobby Jindal, refused to join the Obamacare-funded Medicaid expansion. There's a lesson there for Arkansas.
    • Mar 4, 2016

Most Shared

  • 'Cemetery angel' Ruth Coker Burks featured in new short film

    Ruth Coker Burks, the AIDS caregiver and activist memorably profiled by David Koon as the cemetery angel in Arkansas Times in 2015, is now the subject of a short film made by actress Rose McGowan.
  • Buyer remorse

    Out here in flyover country, you can't hardly go by the feed store without running into a reporter doing one of those Wisdom of the Heartland stories.
  • Not Whitewater

    Just think: If Democrats had turned out 78,000 more votes in three states in November, people could be reveling today in the prospect of impeaching and convicting President Hillary Clinton, not Donald Trump, as some Republican lawmakers had promised to try to do if she won.
  • Head-shaking

    Another edition of so-much-bad-news-so-little space.

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments



© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation