The Washington State Supreme Court rendered a decision recently that will significantly improve the ability of someone in that state who is abused or neglected in a nursing home to hold the facility operators accountable for the abuse. In Putman vs. Wenatchee Medical Center, the Court struck down and held unconstitutional the rule requiring a certificate of merit to be filed prior to the filing a lawsuit for medical negligence. (North Carolina has a similar rule in effect.) The Court found that the rule unduly burdens the right of access to courts, recognizing that it may be impossible for a plaintiff to know exactly how the negligence was committed prior to engaging in the discovery process available once suit is filed. This is especially problematic in nursing home abuse cases, where nursing home operators routinely hardly ever volunteer information to a family who is trying to find out exactly how their loved one was abused or neglected. I applaud the Washington Court for their foresight and actions, and urge the North Carolina legislature and appellate courts to consider this issue as well. The safety of our seniors depends on their ability to hold accountable those who put profits over patient safety. To view the entire legal opinion, please click on the following link: Putman v Wenatchee Valley Medical Center
Putman vs. Wenatchee Medical Center
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