Bill Aims To Cut Back On Frivolous Lawsuits

Reported by: Ellen Bryan
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Updated: 3/08/2013 12:26 am

A proposed state bill would require people to file nursing home abuse complaints with a panel of doctors before they can go to court.

Republican Senator Julie Denton said she introduced this bill to cut back on nursing home’s expense of fighting frivolous lawsuits.

“I think it's important that patients get the care they deserve,” Denton said. “And we're spending lots of money on our Medicaid program and some of those dollars have to be diverted to frivolous lawsuits.”

Denton said if someone has a true lawsuit that has merit, it would pass the review board and make it to a trial.

But Wanda Delaplane, who won a nursing home abuse case after her father died ten years ago, said she doesn’t think she would have gotten a trial if she had to face the board first.

“If it is mandatory that they have to go through this barrier first, what happens is then they have no recourse to dissertate,” Delaplane said, “And that's absolutely wrong.”

Bernie Vonderheide, President of Kentuckians for Nursing Home Reform, said, “The nursing homes are an industry designed to make money...nothing wrong with making money...all businesses in our great country should be able to make money and a great profit and all that. But the nursing homes seem to go to a little extreme.”

Senate Bill 9 passed in the senate this session, but not in the house. Denton said she will propose this bill again next year.

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