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California Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys and Elder Neglect Lawyers from the Nursing Home Neglect Law Offices of Young and Wallin in the News

Michael R. Young is a featured speaker for the National Labor Relations Board in Los Angeles, California

On October 18, 2006, Nursing Home Neglect attorney Michael R. Young, Esq., appeared as the featured speaker at the National Labor Relations Board in Los Angeles, California. Mr. Young was asked to speak to members and employees of the National Labor Relations Board regarding Civil Prosecution of elder abuse and the requirements for a successful elder abuse action.

Mr. Young, a recognized leader in nursing home neglect and elder abuse cases against skilled nursing facilities explained that the civil remedies and definitions are found under the Elder Abuse and Dependant Adult Civil Protection Act which is codified in Welfare and Institutions Code §15610 et. seq. Commenting on the statutory definitions of elder abuse, elder neglect attorney Mr. Young explained that pursuant to Elder Abuse and Dependant Adult Civil Protection Act (EADACPA) there are many forms of abuse that the elder may suffer, physical abuse, financial abuse, abandonment, isolation, and other treatment that results in physical harm or pain and mental suffering.

Normally, nursing home abuse and elder neglect attorneys concentrate on Welfare and Institutions Code §15610.57 (b), which definew neglect. Specifically, elder neglect is defined as the failure to assist in personal hygiene, failure to provide adequate nutrition, failure to provide medical care, failure to prevent dehydration, failure to prevent malnutrition, and charges custodial care takers with protecting elders from health and safety hazards. Also, care custodians must provide goods or services that are necessary to avoid physical harm or mental suffering from elders. EADACPA requires that custodial caregivers be automatically encumbered with these duties. The only requirement is that an elder be sixty-five years old, have suffered neglect and is being cared for by a care custodian. In discussing the requirements to succeed in an elder abuse claim, elder neglect attorney Mr. Young explained what is required to obtain punitive damages in an elder abuse case. Specifically, he indicated that, "Elder neglect attorneys must prove by clear and convincing evidence that abuse occurred and that the person who committed the abuse acted with recklessness, and oppression, fraud, or malice. If the culpable conduct occurred in a nursing home the elder neglect attorney needs to show that the bad conduct was ratified by a corporate employer." Mr. Young also explained that punitive damages are awarded by courts to injured family members of an elder, or even the elder themselves and are meant to punish the abuser.

A red flag for elder abuse is decubitus ulcers, commonly referred to as bedsores. Decubitus ulcers are staged by the medical profession in ranges of one through four. A stage one decubitus ulcer, bedsore, is a slight reddening of the skin. However, the most severe, a stage four bedsore, will expose muscle or bone and is very difficult to heal when it progresses that far. Mr. Young commented that decubitus ulcers are very common in elder neglect cases.

In conclusion, Mr. Young explained that some skilled nursing facilities are simply under-staffed and the nurses providing care simply are unable to provide appropriate care, and their failure to do so will constitute neglect. In some cases, there are caregivers that are actually physically abusing the patients, however that is not as common as elder neglect. In addition to the amount of work that the nurses are required to undertake, they are further required to document all of the care given to residents. This is a very daunting task as meticulous medical charting is required in addition to the care that they must provide. Unfortunately, sometimes one or both will not be done.

Young & Wallin handle California elder abuse and nursing home abuse and neglect cases throughout the state of California including Southern California elder abuse and nursing home abuse and neglect cases in Bakersfield, Barstow, Fresno, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, Orange County, Riverside, Roseville, Santa Barbara, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Jose, San Francisco, Sacramento, and Ventura, California. As elder abuse attorneys and nursing home abuse attorneys, we also handle elder abuse and nursing home abuse cases out of state on a case-by-case basis.

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©2006 The Law Offices of Young & Wallin

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