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Has a loved one been injured in a nursing home or assisted living facility? You should reach out to a law firm that focuses on fighting elder abuse in long-term care facilities
The attorneys at Senior Justice Law Firm collectively have decades of experience fighting elder abuse.
For a toll-free consultation, call use at 561-717-0817.
My Mom Was Neglected and I Believe it is Corporate’s Fault – Can I Sue the CEO of a Nursing Home?
Nursing home and assisted living facility abuse is rampant across the United State of America. Many common injuries, such as falls, bedsores, broken bones, aspiration pneumonia and subdural hematomas can be prevented. Corporate ownership of long-term care facilities frequently choose to understaff their facilities to increase profit. This understaffing leads to workers who are inattentive, overworked and cannot provide adequate care to residents. When a facility doesn’t have enough RN’s, LPN’s or CNA’s, catastrophic preventable accidents happen
Clients often want to sue all of those responsible for their loved one’s injuries, including the CEO and Directors. In the state of Florida, there are specific rules that might bar a Nursing Home CEO from a lawsuit.
Why Should I Sue the CEO of a Nursing Home
If your loved one was injured in an accident at a Florida facility, how is the CEO responsible? A CEO of a nursing home makes multiple decisions that directly influence care at a facility which can be causally related to injuries.
- CEO’s often approve the policies and procedures that are followed at each facility. These policies include things such as fall precautions, bedsore prevention and other vital care procedures.
- CEO’s often set staffing standards for facilities across different states. While some states, like Florida, have specific minimum staffing standards, all facilities are subject to federal laws that require each facility to “staff to resident acuity”. A CEO will likely set the standards for each state, with an eye to staff as little as possible. This is because human capital is one of the highest costs on every nursing home and assisted living facility’s budget.
- The CEO of a nursing home has the ability to hire and fire the upper level staff of the facility. This means the CEO can control the way a facility is run from the ground up.
- The CEO can choose to hire management companies or consulting companies to help the facility run. These companies make strategic decisions about medicine, food, labor and other important aspects of how a facility is run.
What are Corporate Shield Laws and Can I Still Sue the CEO of a Nursing Home?
The “Corporate Shield Law” in Florida protects some non-resident corporate officers from being sued in Florida Courts. Early Florida Law stated that “[i]n order for a non-resident corporate officer to be subject to personal jurisdiction in Florida, it must be established that the officer acted not only in his capacity as agent for the corporation, but that he acted individually, for his own benefit, and thereby caused harm to the forum state.” See Defendant’s Motion page 5-6, citing Doe v. Thompson, 620 So.2d 1004, 1006 (Fla. 1993). In Kitroser v. Hurt, 85 So.3d 1084, 1087 (Fla. 2012), the Florida Supreme Court distinguished Doe by clarifying that the corporate shield doctrine only applies to a “nonresident employee-defendant who works only outside Florida, commits no acts in Florida, and has no personal connection with Florida.” Id. (emphasis added). There is no suggestion that “an actor who is present in Florida and commits tortious acts in-state is excepted from personal jurisdiction just because he or she works on behalf of a corporation.” Id.
If a CEO of a Nursing Home is based in a far-away state, and never comes to Florida, you might think he is not subject to a lawsuit. But, a person’s presence in Florida can be established by physically committing a tort in Florida or by telephonically being present in the State. The Florida Supreme Court has held that “committing a tortious act within Florida under section 48.193(1)(b) can occur by making telephonic, electronic, or written communications into this State, provided that the tort alleged arises from such communications.” Wendt v. Horowitz, 822 So.2d 1252, 1253 (Fla. 2002). Therefore, if the CEO called to the Florida facilities or administrators, or held meetings in Florida, he or she may be subject to suit.
If you believe a loved one was injured in a long-term care facility, do not hesitate to call.
Toll Free – 561-717-0817