How Nursing Home Negligence Claims in Orange County Could Be Impacted by Supreme Court Case

Depending upon the outcome of a U.S. Supreme Court case, the rights of nursing home residents in Orange County could become devastatingly limited. The Supreme Court recently heard the case of Health & Hospital Corporation of Marion County v. Talevski, a case that concerns the right of individual nursing home residents to file lawsuits for elder abuse and negligence. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, this case “raises the issue of whether Medicaid beneficiaries can seek relief in federal court when they believe their rights are being violated by state officials, or whether enforcement of state compliance with federal Medicaid rules should be left solely to the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).” 

Ultimately, the case could have reverberations far beyond nursing home resident rights. Our Orange County nursing home abuse lawyers can provide you with more information.

Getting the Facts About Talevski

What is the Talevski case? The case involves an Indiana nursing home patient whose rights were allegedly violated by what the Kaiser Family Foundation describes as the “nursing facility’s use of psychotropic drugs as chemical restraints, involuntary transfers, and an attempted involuntary discharge to a dementia facility.” Those actions, the family has alleged in their lawsuit, violated the patient’s rights under the Federal Nursing Home Reform Act (FNHRA). As the Kaiser Family Foundation clarifies, FNHRA “establishes the minimum standards of care to which nursing home facilities must follow to participate in the Medicaid program.”

In order to enforce the patient’s rights under the FNHRA, the family filed a lawsuit under Section 1983, which enables individuals to enforce civil rights. The facility contends that an individual Medicaid enrollee does not have a right to sue a state-run or state-funded facility. Further, the facility argues that an individual cannot enforce rights under the FNHRA through Section 1983. At the district court level, the court found in favor of the facility and dismissed the case. The patient’s family appealed, and the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the patient. The case is now at the Supreme Court, and the Court heard arguments on November 8, 2022.

Key Issues and Implications of the Talevski Case

What are the key issues for the Supreme Court to decide, and how could the Court’s decision affect future nursing home abuse lawsuits in Southern California?

According to SCOTUSblog, these are the two issues that the court must decide:

  • “Whether, in light of compelling historical evidence to the contrary, the Supreme Court should reexamine its holding that spending clause legislation gives rise to privately enforceable rights under 42 U.S.C. § 1983”; and
  • “Whether, assuming spending clause statutes ever give rise to private rights enforceable via Section 1983, the Federal Nursing Home Amendments Act of 1987’s transfer and medication rules do so.”

As both the Kaiser Family Foundation article and SCOTUSblog summary underscore, what is at stake in Talevski is the ability for an individual to have a private right of action to enforce federal nursing home abuse legislation.

Contact an Orange County Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer

Whether you have questions about your eligibility to file a lawsuit or you have concerns about an elderly loved one’s safety in a facility, our Orange County nursing home neglect attorneys can assist you. Contact the Walton Law Firm today for more information.

See Related Blog Posts:

Steps to Take if You are Concerned About Nursing Home Abuse in Los Angeles County

Nursing Home Neglect and Infections in San Diego County

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