The Tennessean has a great editorial about the legislation that will protect nursing homes who abuse and neglect residents. Below is a summary of the editorial.
Nursing home operators are begging the General Assembly to grant them special protections from lawsuits that might be filed by residents who are seriously wronged under their care. What the owners want is a law that would allow nursing homes to force residents to waive their constitutional right to a jury trial and sign arbitration agreements as a prerequisite for being admitted, and they want caps on how much money a jury could award to a resident in a case against the nursing home.
This effort by the nursing home industry takes a lot of nerve. The state suspended admissions at 22 nursing homes in 2007, which was twice as many as in the previous year and three times the amount in 2005. Hundreds of residents were displaced last year because of serious health and safety violations that caused those homes to lose federal funds. Yet in this environment, the nursing home industry wants special protection from lawsuits.