A new law now in effect in West Virginia, not only limits the amount of time an individual or family has to file a lawsuit against a nursing home to one year, but they also must file in the county where the nursing home is located.
The (WV) News Center explains in its recent story, “W. Va. nursing home abuse law set to go into effect July 1,” that the new law obviously favors nursing homes.
The law gives nursing homes an additional blanket of protection, typically not provided to others under the law.
Some feel the law could put pressure on victims to come forward more quickly, given that these can be very sensitive cases. With all of the family dynamics involved, there’s frequently fear involved. This is because many individuals don't want to speak up for fear of reprisal, while their loved ones are still in the facility.
Others contend that the law doesn’t put pressure on victims, but instead serves as encouragement, intensifying the sense of urgency related to any type of elder abuse.
Supporters of the law say it ultimately brings awareness to the issues, noting that anything shedding a light on a nationwide epidemic is a good thing.
Typical charges in nursing home abuse include lack of proper care, malnutrition, dehydration, preventable falls and improper management of medication. The new law will require that individuals and their families to be willing to take legal action swiftly. Time will tell who benefits most from this new law.
Reference: The (WV) News Center (June 27, 2017) “W. Va. nursing home abuse law set to go into effect July 1”