Andrew Gross recently spoke to the Texas Trial Lawyers – Nursing Home Section regarding the use of 42 U.S.C. § 1983 to hold Texas nursing homes accountable for their violations of resident rights. In Texas, private nursing homes have begun selling their licenses to the county, which then enters into a management agreement with the private nursing home. This maneuver is intended to provide additional revenue to the counties, while providing governmental immunities to the nursing homes. However, the nursing home residents see no improvement in the quality of the care and are deprived of meaningful judicial remedies.
“The purpose of § 1983,” Andrew stated “is to allow private citizens to bring legal action when the state has, by policy or conduct, chosen to disregard rights guaranteed by federal law.” When county owned nursing homes make decisions, resulting in undertrained staff and insufficient numbers of staff, the vulnerable resident’s rights are imperiled. “Rights to doctor-ordered therapy, services, and medications; rights to reasonable accommodation of needs; rights to receive the services that the federal government pays for on behalf of the residents are all too often violated by publically-owned nursing homes who are required to do better.”
Given the appellate history from other circuits and favorable Fifth Circuit rulings, the deals cut by the counties throughout Texas may become a burden: “Counties can be held directly liable under § 1983 for conduct in its nursing home.”
Andrew is a lawyer with the Kosieradzki • Smith Law Firm specializing nursing home, civil rights, and trucking cases. The Kosieradzki • Smith Law Firm represents clients in cases involving catastrophic injury caused by nursing homes and other care facilities that fail to provide proper care. If you believe your loved one has been harmed due neglect or abuse in a nursing home, take action and contact the Kosieradzki • Smith Law Firm online or call us toll-free at (877) 552-2873 to set up a no-cost, no-obligation consultation.