Florida lawmakers have passed a bill that would help shield nursing home assets from lawsuits against them.
The bill, SB 670, passed through Florida’s state senate, according to a Miami Herald report, and is garnering pushback from elder care advocates and some industry members who have a stake in nursing home care.
Critics urge that protecting “passive investors” covered under the bill in cases where a community is being sued is too broad a stroke and doesn’t define those investors well enough.
“The Florida Legislature just handed the nursing home industry a ‘get out of jail free card’ in cases of abuse or neglect,’’ Brian Lee, director of Families for Better Care, a non-profit that advocates for senior rights, told the Miami Herald. “If enacted, the nefarious operators, those who cut staffing and care budgets just to maximize profits, will be exonerated from all wrongdoing.”
The bill prevents those “passive investors” from being named in lawsuits unless deemed by a court to have had an active role, the Miami Herald reports.
Groups representing nursing homes say operators can’t hide their assets and that it won’t prevent lawsuits.
“This doesn’t make it any easier or harder to get sued as a direct care giver. This is simply protection for the passive investor,’’ J. Emmett Reed, executive director of the Florida Health Care Association, told the Miami Herald.
Written by Elizabeth Ecker