• 16
  • April
    2012

Cases of nursing home abuse at private residential facilities, VA hospitals and other locations in New York may be based on various types of harm, including physical symptoms such as bed sores, dehydration and malnutrition. In other cases, the harm arises from direct abuse, including physical and mental abuse, as well as sexual abuse.

Regardless of the injury suffered, nursing home residents who are harmed by their caretakers have specific legal rights that are detailed in New York's Public Health Laws. Section 2801-d provides that physical and emotional harm to patients, as well as financial losses and death, are subject to damages sufficient to compensate patients, with a minimum established figure of 25 percent of the daily per-patient rate assessed by the facility for each day that the injury exists.

The resident's statutory right to legal action is distinct from separate claims of medical malpractice or nursing home negligence. The statute also authorizes punitive damages if the deprivation is proven to be "willful or in reckless disregard of the lawful rights of the patient."

The law provides an affirmative defense to facilities that demonstrate their exercise of "all care reasonably necessary to prevent and limit the deprivation and injury for which liability is asserted." If they prevail on such issues, they cannot be held liable for a resident's injuries.

Protection of vulnerable nursing home residents is a basic goal of New York's authorization of a private right of action against residential health care facilities. By working closely with a New York personal injury lawyer, a resident can assess his or her options for compensation after a nursing home fall or other injury.