Pennsylvania Expands Ability To Prosecute Nursing Homes

In some jurisdictions, state prosecutors are limited in being able to prosecute nursing homes. In some areas, they are only able to prosecute neglect, and then only when actual physical injuries can be proven. In other jurisdictions, state and local prosecutors have special teams set up to prosecute all forms of elder abuse. In one jurisdiction, however, the law is changing. It is expanding the ability of state prosecutors to be able to prosecute nursing homes. The Post-Gazette reports on the change.

Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro is glad of a new law that is expanding his ability to prosecute nursing homes for abuse. Previously, state prosecutors were only able to prosecute for neglect.

The new law applies to all long-term care facilities, including nursing homes.

Previously, abuse cases were solely in the jurisdiction of prosecutors. Another provision in the new law allows for neglect cases to be prosecuted without having to prove physical injury.

Shapiro gave credit to the bill’s sponsor, Representative Jim Cox, R-Berks.

When asked to explain his motivation behind bringing the bill to state congress, he stated, “Those caregivers who kill a person by neglecting the individual will no longer be able to hide behind a legal loophole.”

The attorney general noted several recent cases his team had brought against nurses and nurses aides in eastern Pennsylvania for neglecting older citizens and other people who are dependent on care.