Elder Abuse Litigation
In California, persons 65 years and older are defined as “elders.” They are also protected by several civil and criminal laws that the legislature put in place to prevent an alarmingly high frequency and severity of elder abuse cases. Under California’s Elder Abuse and Dependent Adult Civil Protection Act, elder abuse is defined as physical abuse, neglect, financial abuse, abandonment, isolation, abduction, or other treatment with resulting physical harm, pain, or mental suffering. It also includes the “deprivation by a care custodian of goods or services that are necessary to avoid physical harm or mental suffering.” (Welfare and Institutions Code Sec. 15610.07.)
In addition, elders are safeguarded by the California criminal law that affords this vulnerable population protection because they are often confused, on medication, or mentally or physically impaired. Consequently, they are unable to protect themselves, report criminal conduct, or testify in court. Therefore, the California Penal Code defines elder abuse as taking place when a person reasonably knows that an individual is an elder and willfully causes or allows another to cause an elder to suffer unjustifiable physical or mental pain. This also includes the elders suffering an injury during their care or while under the custody of a caretaker. Endangering of an elder’s health is punishable by imprisonment, a $6,000 fine, or both. (Penal Code Sec. 368.)
If you believe that a long term care facility such as an SNF or RCFE is violating its state or federal law regarding mandated staffing levels or you witnessed signs of elder abuse, prompt action to preserve your rights is vital.
Contact the experienced employment law attorneys at Stephen Danz & Associates for a free consultation to discuss your circumstances and legal options.
This will certainly ensure the expedient protection of the residents and deter future abuse.