The nursing home industry, lending new meaning to the term audacious, is pushing legislation to limit its liability in Tennessee courts at a time when violations for neglect and abuse of residents are higher than ever before. It may seem outrageous to many, but inside Tennessee’s ethically challenged legislature, the measure’s chances of passage are better than even.
When I first blogged here in 2003, I advocated against limiting liability in medical malpractice cases. We've seen over the last five years that the only group that has benefited from that spate of legislation has been Big Insurance. Now, the "forces of darkness" are at it again, trying to screw the old and infirm by sliding this legislation through with lots of cash and legislative insider connections. They're even using the same threat: protect our profits or we may have to close nursing homes.
Anyone who wants to register their opinion with their legislator can locate him/her here.
UPDATE: Comment below: "I notice you haven't jumped into either the medical profession or the nursing home business but instead have chosen, ahem, to be a lawyer." It's funny, that comment. I keep saying, when I see some other type of work that is really lucrative, "I picked the wrong line of work again!" Seriously, though, regardless of whether I decided decades ago to be a lawyer, a doctor, or a nursing home proprietor [and who tells mommy and daddy when they're groing up, "I want to be a nursing home operator when I grow up!"], that does not excuse a doctor when he screws up, or a nursing home when it maltreats its residents.
ANOTHER UPDATE: I love all the folks that bash trial lawyers. They're the same people for whom trial lawyers are their best friends, when they need help.
YET MORE TO SAY: I do have to say this to the commenter who said that consumer law benefits lawyers always, but consumers only sometimes. Unless the comenter is referring to insurance defense lawyers who defend cases by the hour, that statement is just not true. I handle most or all of such cases on a contingent fee, i.e., I make no fee unless the client recovers. Thus, the client will make a recovery before I get paid. It's just a terrible distortion of the way things really are to paint all trial lawyers as profiting while their clients are losing. In my practice, and every other trial lawyer I know and respect, that just ain't the case. Like it or not, most trial lawyers are in this business to make a living by helping people solve their problems. Putting aside the top 1 or 2% of the lawyers who make the big money in the plaintiff's bar, most of us work for very modest wages. Frankly, what is extraordinary to me is what the big firms are paying the top 1 or 2% of law school graduates these days -- $150,000 and up. Now that's obscene [and how do I get some of that?]!