The Rise of Nursing Home Litigation: Findings from a National Survey of Attorneys
Posted: 5 May 2003
Lawsuits against nursing homes are a relatively recent phenomenon. Despite a growing sense of alarm among policy-makers, little is known about their scale, dynamics, or outcomes. To describe these characteristics at the national level, we conducted a web-based survey of attorneys from across the country who bring and defend this litigation. Respondents and their firms were involved, respectively, in 4,677 and 8,256 claims in 2001, over half of which were in Florida and Texas. Our data show that the costs of nursing home litigation are substantial on an aggregate and per-claim basis, especially in states where the litigation is most prevalent. These findings elevate concerns about nursing home quality of care, and they also raise the possibility that litigation could divert substantial resources from resident care which may actually fuel quality problems.
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