Group Sues VA Over Access to Advocates

In the state of Florida, nursing home residents are guaranteed certain rights under Florida law. Some of these rights include the right to manage their own finances, refuse medication or treatment, the right to organize and participate in resident groups. They also have the right to participate in religious, social, and community activities as long as the rights of others are not infringed. One of the more important rights guaranteed to patients is the right to have access to long-term care ombudsmen and other advocacy groups. A group in Florida is suing the Veteran’s Administration, saying it violated this right, as WLRN Florida reports.

Disability Rights Florida, a group that is federally funded to advocate for people with disabilities, filed the lawsuit Monday in Tallahassee in the U.S. District Court. The lawsuit was filed against the Florida Department of Veteran’s Affairs.

According to the lawsuit, the group received an anonymous tip in June at the Douglas T. Jacobson State Veterans Nursing Home in Port Charlotte. The tip indicated problems at the facility. An investigator made an unannounced visit but was denied access.

Although the tip later proved to be unfounded, it still sought to schedule a visit to make patients aware of their rights under Florida law. Their request to visit was denied, which is what prompted the lawsuit.

The lawsuit alleges that denying them the right to advise residents of their rights violates both state and federal law related to advocacy for people with disabilities.

Have you or a loved one been the victim of abuse or neglect while in a nursing home? You may have a case. Let the law office of Schenk Nursing Home Abuse Law fight for you. Call today for free initial consultation.