Zevan and Davidson Law Firm Articles Wisconsin Tort Reform Making Nursing Home Abuse Cases Complicated

Wisconsin Tort Reform Making Nursing Home Abuse Cases Complicated

By David Zevan  Mar. 13, 2013 11:19a

Nursing home abuse is an egregious abuse of the trust that patients and their families place in the facilities and their caregivers. When you entrust the care of a family member or loved one to a group of individuals in a care facility, you need to know that they will be well taken care of.

Tort reform laws passed in Wisconsin in 2011 are making it more difficult for families to hold negligent care facilities accountable for their actions. The reform stipulates that families that bring civil suits against nursing homes cannot use state health investigation records in their cases. These records cannot be used against providers in criminal cases of neglect either.

It is argued that these reforms will not have a major effect on investigations and cases, as attorneys are still allowed to view inspection records. But they must produce their own evidence to support the claims of abuse and negligence, rather than relying on the information in state health investigations.

Those in disagreement with the reform relate that it is bizarre that the records are available and in many cases, online, yet cannot be used in support of the case. The reform was pushed through by certain lawmakers, yet other opponents of the reform believe it to be harmful to the elderly and that it provides an obstacle to protecting those who are most vulnerable. A Milwaukee personal injury attorney says “when you’ve got these records that are part of the regulatory process, the idea that you wouldn’t be able to introduce them to the jury is just insane. Why would we hold that information back?”

The bill’s supporters say that rather than protect negligent or abusive care providers, the bill would help to reduce corporate litigation costs, thereby helping the economy. Governor Scott Walker, who proposed the tort reform, said that the bill would curtail the “constant pattern of litigation” that can be seen as dissuasive to employers. Supposedly the legislation that passed in February of 2011, allows providers to open the dialogue about state inspections, improving the quality of care without the looming threat of meritless lawsuits.

But personal injury attorneys and families with loved ones who have been abused or neglected in the nursing home system, disagree that the law is a positive change. The new law makes it harder to prosecute nursing home abuse cases and the ones who suffer the most are the ones who have already suffered enough.

Missouri and Illinois Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys

Nursing home abuse leaves a painful trace behind and though millions go unreported each year, there is much you can do to identify abusers wherever and however they operate.

At the Zevan and Davidson Law Firm we have qualified nursing home abuse lawyers with the proven ability to help you and your family receive the justice you deserve.

Other Recent Articles

The Growing Concern Over Elder Care

There is a common misconception that if an elderly patient suffers as a result of medical malpractice, there is little that can be done legally.
More Articles »

The Frightening Truth About Nursing Homes and Medical Malpractice

Each year, millions of families are faced with the heart wrenching decision of having to place an elderly loved one into the care of a nursing home.
More Articles »

Nursing Home Fined $36,000 For Deficiencies

A Florida nursing home was recently fined $36,000 by the state for the way it handled an allegation of sexual abuse. The Florida Agency for Health Care Administration found in an inspection that the ...
More Articles »
(314) 588-7200
1 N Taylor Ave
St Louis, MO 63108

Main Website:
View Website
Contact our office by email by clicking the button below: