Can Difficult Residents Really Fall Victim To a Nursing Home Wrongful Eviction in Florida?
Gregg Hollander | March 24, 2023 | Nursing Home Abuse
Involuntary eviction of nursing home residents is the number one complaint about nursing homes, exceeding even claims of nursing home abuse. Wrongful evictions of nursing home residents have been on the rise in recent years. Shockingly, in many cases, nursing homes send residents to hotels or even to homeless shelters without even notifying the families.
Although they often seek to evict residents because of difficult behavior, a nursing home does not have an unrestricted right to evict a resident.
The wrongful eviction from a nursing home constitutes nursing home neglect. If you have reason to believe that your loved one is about to suffer an eviction in Florida, contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as you can.
Reasons Why Your Loved One Might Exhibit Difficult Behavior
Your loved one might exhibit problematic behavior for one of the following reasons:
- Dementia or a similar medical condition
- Changes in medication
- Frustration at the nursing home’s failure to meet the resident’s essential needs
- Personality problems that surfaced before the resident entered the long-term care facility
There might be another reason as well. In fact, you might need an investigation to uncover the real reason.
Legal Justifications for a Nursing Home Eviction
The wrongful eviction of a resident is a form of nursing home neglect. There are certain situations, however, when federal nursing home regulations allow a nursing home to legally evict a resident:
- The nursing home cannot meet the resident’s needs. The resident might have medical needs, for example, that the nursing home lacks the resources to provide for.
- The resident fails to pay for nursing home care after receiving “reasonable and appropriate notice.” A nursing home cannot evict a resident while their eligibility for Medicaid is pending.
- The resident’s physical or mental health has improved to the point that they no longer require nursing home care. This is a common reason for eviction among nursing home residents who are not elderly.
- The resident is a danger to the health or safety of other residents. This could be for behavioral reasons. Alternatively, the resident might have contracted a contagious disease. To evict a resident for medical reasons, a nursing home must secure the signature of the resident’s physician, medical director, treating physician, nurse practitioner, or physician assistant.
- The nursing home shuts down due to bankruptcy or other reasons.
A nursing home typically violates federal law if it evicts a resident for a reason other than one of the reasons stated above.
What a Nursing Home Must Do Before It Evicts Your Loved One
Wrongful discharge from a nursing home can cause your loved one a lot of distress. They might face anxiety at having to leave friends behind, many of whom they will never see again. They might lose the services of trusted caregivers. They might suffer both physically and emotionally from changes in diet and medication because new caregivers are unfamiliar with the nuances of their care.
All of these foregoing factors, and many more, have spurred the federal government to restrict a nursing home’s right to evict a tenant even if grounds for eviction exist.
Following are some of the nursing home’s obligations prior to evicting a resident:
- The nursing home must issue a 30-day advance written notice of eviction. This notice must include the reasons for eviction. They must deliver copies of this notice to the resident, the resident’s legal representative (a legal guardian or someone who holds power of attorney, for example), and the Florida Ombudsman Program.
- The resident has the right to appeal the eviction. During the appeal process, they can remain in the nursing home unless remaining would endanger the safety of themself or others.
- If the nursing home claims to be unable to meet the resident’s needs, it must justify this claim to the resident in writing.
A nursing home can be sanctioned for failure to meet any of these conditions.
Contact a Fort Lauderdale Nursing Home Abuse Attorney If Your Loved One Is Facing Wrongful Eviction
If your loved one suffers a nursing home eviction, the first priority is to make sure they have a safe place to stay. The second priority is to seek compensation for the wrongful neglect that your loved one suffered.
You can demand compensation for economic damages, non-economic damages such as emotional distress, and sometimes even punitive damages. A Fort Lauderdale nursing home abuse lawyer can help you with both of these tasks.
If you’ve been injured in an accident, please contact our experienced personal injury lawyers in Florida at Hollander Law Firm Accident Injury Lawyers to schedule a free consultation today. We have three convenient locations in Boca Raton, Fort Lauderdale, and West Palm Beach.
We proudly serve Palm Beach County, Broward County, and its surrounding areas:
Hollander Law Firm Accident Injury Lawyers – Boca Raton Law Office
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Boca Raton, FL 33433
Hollander Law Firm Accident Injury Lawyers – Fort Lauderdale Law Office
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Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301
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West Palm Beach, FL 33401