Because of the extremely high costs of nursing home care, Medicaid pays the costs of that care for the vast majority of New Yorkers. Recent news articles have highlighted the appalling practice of many nursing homes which, in order to make room for higher paying residents, transfer residents receiving Medicaid to hospitals and do not allow them to return. Nursing Homes Oust Unwanted Patients with Claims of Psychosis, N.Y. Times, Sept. 19, 2020. This practice, known as “hospital dumping,” is absolutely prohibited under New York and federal law. Nursing home residents who are victims of hospital dumping can sue nursing homes under New York’s Public Health Law. The Public Health Law also authorizes nursing home residents receiving Medicaid to sue for unequal treatment while in the nursing home. At Bellin & Associates, we protect the civil rights of nursing home residents as well as their right to have appropriate care. If you are aware of any nursing home residents who have been injured or whose civil rights have been violated, we would be happy to help them pursue the damages and other relief to which they are justly entitled.
When people think about nursing home negligence lawsuits, they usually focus on cases in which nursing home residents have suffered physical injuries. Those cases are extremely important, but also important are cases where the nursing home residents suffer emotional harms rather than physical harms. The New York Public Health Law specifically authorizes nursing home residents who suffer “emotional harm” as a result of nursing homes’ violations of their rights under federal and state law, to sue the nursing homes for doing so. Among those rights are the rights to be free from verbal abuse, mental abuse and involuntary seclusion, the right to be free from improper chemical and physical restraints, the right to have visitors, and the right to raise grievances and to have those grievances resolved promptly. Besides actual damages, nursing home residents can sue for statutory damages as well as punitive damages in the appropriate circumstances. At Bellin & Associates, we are committed to advocating on behalf of nursing home residents whose physical and emotional well-being have been harmed by improper nursing home actions.