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How does Texas tort reform affect a nursing home injury or abuse case?

Tort reform has been a hot-button issue in Texas and across the country in recent years, with many lawmakers and residents calling for a better civil justice system and fewer frivolous lawsuits. However, while there is certainly room for improvement in our state laws, some recent tort reform laws and Texas Supreme Court decisions have compromised the safety of our elder loved ones and make it increasingly difficult for abused and neglected nursing home residents to secure compensation for what they have endured.
Let’s take a look at two recent Texas nursing home laws and a Supreme Court decision that highlight how nursing homes have obtained an edge over the injured elderly since the 2003 Texas tort reforms:

  • Texas House Bill 2292. This bill repealed a Texas Health and Safety code that required nursing homes and adult care facilities in Texas to have liability insurance. When nursing homes do not carry liability insurance, it can become difficult or impossible for victims of Texas nursing home abuse or neglect to collect damages.
  • Texas House Bill 4. This large package of civil justice reforms changed a number of medical malpractice and product liability laws. One part of the 133-page bill makes it significantly more difficult for a nursing home’s administrative violations and penalties to be successfully submitted as evidence in abuse and neglect cases.
  • Omaha Healthcare Center v. Wilma Johnson. This year, the Texas Supreme Court decided that an elderly woman who died of a spider bike in a nursing home was the victim of medical malpractice rather than nursing home neglect, giving the nursing home added legal protection and making it impossible for the victim’s family to file an expert medical report. This decision sets a dangerous precedent for others who have been harmed by poor nursing home conditions.

While it is always important to examine our system and improve upon our laws, all three of the above examples don’t represent reform that will keep our nursing home residents safe allow them to seek justice after wrongdoing. Instead, they represent reforms that give unfair advantages to the nursing homes themselves.
Because of these recent changes, it is more important than ever that nursing home residents or their loved ones secure a knowledgeable, experienced Dallas nursing home attorney in the wake of neglect or abuse. If you need to speak with a Texas nursing home neglect and abuse attorney, contact us today at 877.405.4313 to schedule a free, private meeting.

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The attorneys at Rasansky Law Firm are happy to speak to you about your potential case free of charge. If we can help with your claim, we’ll do so for no out-of-pocket cost to you. Call us 24/7 at (214) 651-6100, or toll-free at 1-877-405-4313.

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