State Bill Would Make Inspection Information Inadmissible in Court

As in any State, Tennessee performs regular inspections of nursing homes. Some inspections reveal properly run nursing homes but on the other hand some reveal nursing homes with persistent neglect issues. Currently running through our Tennessee legislature is a bill that will protected these bad nursing homes. Specifically, the bill would prevent victims of nursing home neglect from showing the jury the results of prior inspections. The party for this bill argues that prior inspection and investigation information that details violations of state and federal regulations would unfairly influence the facility that is facing a lawsuit in a single case. They think that a case should focus on the specific underlying incident and those facts. They feel it would be unjust or unfair to site evidence of another wrongdoing, violation, or past problems. However, the real impact of the bill is that it will protect bad nursing homes not the good ones. For instance, there may be home that has been cited multiple times for neglecting patients and a jury will never know. Without this information the bad nursing homes can disguise their repeated failures as a onetime accident. So how does this law ensure better care for our most vulnerable Tennessee residents? It doesn’t. It is simply a product of nursing homes protecting their financial interest.

The party against the proposed bill also thinks that past negative violations and results of laws and regulations already put the responsibility on nursing homes to comply with the law and work to improve their quality of care for their residents. If there are more incidents of abuse or neglect that are the foundation of a lawsuit, if it is proven, would show that those nursing homes failed to meet their obligations. This is why opponents of this bill think that past violations are important as admissible evidence in order to determine if nursing home facilities are complying with the law. They think that past violations are relevant to new alleged ones.

The Senate and House versions of this bill are required to go through committees or subcommittees for debate, revision, and editing before going before the main floor for final votes. The governor also needs to sign off on the bill to make it into a law.

If you have questions as to how this proposed bill may affect your nursing home abuse lawsuit or if you think someone you love has been the victim of nursing home abuse, you should contact one of our compassionate and knowledgeable Tennessee nursing home abuse and neglect lawyers with the Higgins Firm. We will answer any questions you may have. If we determine that nursing home abuse did take place, we will work with you and fight for you to make sure the nursing home is held accountable for their actions. We will also make sure that you receive the compensation you are entitled to for what you and your loved ones have suffered.

Contact us online or call 800.705.2121 for your free consultation to discuss your legal needs and options.

Author Bio

Jim Higgins, founder of the Higgins Firm, is a seasoned personal injury attorney with deep roots in Nashville, Tennessee. A 4th generation Nashvillian, Jim carries on the legal legacy of his father, a judge for over 30 years. After graduating from the University of Memphis School of Law, Jim’s career began on the other side of the courtroom, defending insurance companies and learning their tactics for minimizing settlements. However, he soon realized his true calling was fighting for the rights of the injured, and for the past several years, he has exclusively represented plaintiffs in personal injury cases.

Since then, his dedication and skill have earned him membership in the prestigious Million Dollar Advocates Forum, an organization limited to attorneys who have secured million and multi-million dollar verdicts and settlements for their clients. Licensed to practice in Tennessee, Kentucky, and Georgia, Jim focuses on personal injury, product liability, medical malpractice, and workers’ compensation cases. His exceptional work has been recognized by his peers, earning him a spot on the Super Lawyers list from 2021 to 2024, a distinction awarded to only a select group of accomplished attorneys in each state.

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