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California Court of Appeal Caps Patient Rights Claims in Elder Abuse Cases at $500

In Samuel Nevarrez v. San Marino Skilled Nursing and Wellness Centre, et al., a newly published elder abuse case involving a former patient's claims for elder abuse, negligence and violations of Patient's Bill of Rights, a California Court of Appeal ruled that the maximum statutory penalty against a skilled nursing facility for violations of the Patient's Bill of Rights is $500. The Court of Appeal further noted that the statutory language indicates that $500 is not intended to be a flat penalty, but rather the maximum amount in a range of possible penalties regardless of the number of rights violated and the number of times such violations occurred. In addition, the Court of Appeal held that the trial court abused its discretion in admitting a class A citation (under the Long-Term Care, Health, Safety, and Security Act of 1973, class A citations are issued when a nursing facility is determined to have violated a state or federal law or regulation relating to its operation or maintenance and the violation presents imminent danger or substantial probability of death or serious harm to a patient or resident) into evidence thereby tainting the jury verdict on elder abuse.

We will discuss this topic more on our subsequent blogs.

*This blog entry was not written by an Attorney and should not be construed as professional legal advice.

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