Victims of nursing home abuse and neglect have won the right to have their cases heard by a jury. In a landmark change in regulations by the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services nursing homes can no longer require residents to submit claims to private arbitration.
The change was prompted by high-profile cases in which residents and their families were barred from seeking relief in the courts from horrendous instances of physical abuse. In one of the cases, a 100-year-old nursing home resident was strangled to death by a roommate, and in another, a 94-year-old resident died of a head wound at a Pennsylvania facility.
The rule will go into effect in November 2016. Unfortunately, it does not apply retroactively to residents who signed admission contracts before that date.