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Court says New Jersey assisted living residents can't sue

Laws and regulations in New Jersey regarding nursing homes and assisted living facilities are complicated. When dealing with a variety of different governances and procedures, the process of filing a complaint for neglect can seem daunting. An elderly family member should be living somewhere where they will be treated with dignity and respect. Complications can arise when someone tries to figure out what to do if they suffer under nursing home neglect.

According to a new ruling, a New Jersey law designed to protect nursing home residents will not be applicable to assisted living residents. A plaintiff alleged that his mother had been neglected and physically beaten at an assisted living home. A US District court reversed its decision against the assisted living home provider because of complications under New Jersey's Nursing Home Responsibilities & Rights of Resident Act. The Act is interpreted to say that some of the protections granted to nursing homes are not granted to assisted living residents.

One of the difficult things about understanding supportive care is rights and responsibilities in the complicated legal system. The New Jersey system treats nursing homes and assisted living centers differently. If a loved one is the victim of nursing home neglect, it's important to understand the legal rights of residents. Nursing home neglect can take the form of personal injuries, falls and other inadequate care.

Residents of nursing homes and assisted living centers expect to receive a certain standard of care. The law is complicated with cases involving assisted living units. That does not mean that there aren't options for getting financial support after a period of abuse. Neglectful care can lead to poor quality of health and diminished life spans. Nursing homes and assisted living centers should be held liable for poor treatment.

Source: McKnights.com, "Assisted living residents cannot sue under nursing home law in New Jersey, federal court rules," Tim Mullaney, Feb. 5, 2014

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