The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that nursing home residents have the right to sue government-run nursing homes for violations of their federal rights. Federal law provides residents with an extensive list of rights that are not well enforced by state enforcement agencies. Another federal law, 42 USC Section 1983, allows people to sue to enforce their rights, privileges, or immunities. The Court ruled that nursing home residents can use Section 1983 to enforce their own rights specially enumerated under federal law.
The plaintiff in the case, Gorgi Talevski, was chemically restrained with psychotropic drugs and illegally evicted while a resident in a government-run nursing home in Indiana. The Court’s ruling ensures that he, and other residents of government-run nursing homes, can file Section 1983 lawsuits to enforce their rights.