|Seeking to stop nursing home residents from enforcing their rights, the California nursing home industry has moved to nullify the state’s resident rights enforcement statute.
In 1982, in response to failing state oversight of California’s nursing homes, the legislature created health and Safety Code Section 1430(b), which allows residents to file an action in state court against facilities that have violated their rights. The statute has proven critical to residents’ well-being throughout the state as it has been used to vindicate personal rights, prevent neglect, and guarantee that facilities have staffing adequate to meet the needs of their residents.
In order to ensure residents are able to enforce their rights, the legislature made clear that residents would not be able to waive their ability to bring a resident rights action. Thus, even if residents or their legal representatives have inadvertently signed a pre-dispute arbitration agreement, the residents may nonetheless file a lawsuit to enforce their rights.
In January 2013, the California Association of Health Facilities (CAHF), a nursing home industry trade group, and six nursing homes filed a lawsuit in federal court seeking to have the resident rights protection statute invalidated under the Federal Arbitration Act. Having finally been made to account for years of understaffing, poor care, and stomping on the rights of residents, the CAHF lawsuit is a brazen attempt to take away the only real tool for enforcing resident rights in California.
CANHR vigorously opposes the CAHF lawsuit and will post relevant case information and updates here.Read the CAHF Complaint here.CANHR’s Memorandum of Points and Authorities to Intervene in the Case.CAHF’s Opposition to CANHR’s Intervention.CANHR’s Reply to CAHF’s Opposition.