» Proposal 88 to Change the Face of Nursing Home Neglect, Arbitration

Proposal 88 to Change the Face of Nursing Home Neglect, Arbitration

Tampa, FL (Law Firm Newswire) May 2, 2018 - Florida’s Proposal 88 aims to protect the rights of nursing home residents. Recent events show that such protection is needed.

Last October, Hurricane Irma wreaked havoc on Florida. In Hollywood Hills, Florida, the electric power lines that were connected to the air conditioning at a local rehabilitation center were damaged causing wide power outages. The center’s management is alleged to have postponed too long to take the seniors to the hospital next door. Twelve nursing home patients died that day.

This tragic incident has been officially determined as homicide. Now, Florida nursing homes look toward the future, some in hopes of restorative action and others pushing back against change.

In fact, nursing home abuse is a countrywide phenomenon. In its November 27 publication, Time Magazine, tells the story of an elderly nun sexually assaulted by an employee at a nursing home in Alabama. She had been forced into arbitration rather than going to court. Though there was physical evidence and a doctor's report of physical injury, the arbitrator turned against the elderly woman, explaining, “I did not hear the emotion . . . that I would expect to hear from someone describing being sexually assaulted.”

Proposal 88 to Florida’s Constitution Revision Commission demands a new beginning for nursing home residents. Proposed by Commissioner Brecht Heuchan, Proposal 88 appears on the November 2018 ballot if it is approved by the Commission. The proposition warrants that nursing home patients “be treated courteously, fairly and with the fullest measure of dignity.” It promises “a safe, clean, comfortable and homelike environment that protects residents from harm and takes into account this state’s challenges with respect to climate and natural disasters.”

“Nursing home arbitration agreements are often unfair to residents,” said Robert Joyce, a nursing home abuse and neglect attorney with the law firm of Joyce & Reyes. “If nursing home residents are abused, neglected or injured, they deserve their day in court.”

Proposal 88 would prevent nursing homes from asking patients to sign arbitration agreements they do not understand. Though nursing homes claim that arbitration is voluntary, there are still many instances where newly admitted residents do not understand the arbitration agreement.

Joyce and Reyes Law Firm, P.A.
307 S Hyde Park Ave
Tampa, FL 33606
Call: 813.251.2007

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