Is Abuse and Neglect Really Medical Malpractice?

San Francisco Gate had an Associated Press article on the attempts of West Virginia legislators to include nursing homes under the tort reform caps meant for doctors who commit medical malpractice.  Nursing home lawsuits do not involve medical malpractice.  The allegations typically include simple negligence of unlicensed certified nurse aides or nursing malpractice.

"The measure explicitly includes nursing homes under the protections of a 2003 law that places limits on medical malpractice suits. The Medical Professionals Liability Act places a $500,000 cap on the non-economic damages for which health care providers are liable."

The West Virginia Association for Justice, a group representing plaintiffs' lawyers, called the bill unnecessary. "Nursing homes are already identified as medical providers under West Virginia's existing Medical Professional Liability Act," said Scott Blass, the group's president. "This is an attempt by nursing homes to try to further limit their liability when their patients are harmed."

 

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