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Can I Sue a Nursing Home for Wrongful Discharge of My Loved One?

Modern equipment in operating roomDeciding to move your senior loved one into nursing home care is an emotional moment for everyone involved However, it’s often in the best interests of our elderly loved ones to go where they can receive adequate care. Therefore, it can be devastating to deal with care facility negligence, including wrongful discharge.

For most other forms of nursing home negligence, detecting the neglect and deciding to sue might be much more straightforward. But for illegal discharges or transfers, most people don’t know what to do. So, can you sue a nursing home for wrongful discharge of your loved one? The short answer is yes. However, there are several things you need to know before deciding to sue.

When Can a Nursing Legally Discharge or Transfer My Loved One?

Though some nursing care facilities in New York continue to violate the law through wrongful discharges and transfers, there are legitimate reasons why many of them may discharge your loved one. Some of these reasons why your loved one may be discharged from a nursing home include:

  • The facility can no longer meet the needs of the resident, and the discharge/transfer is necessary for the resident’s welfare.
  • The resident’s health has significantly improved, and there is no apparent reason to continue keeping the resident in the facility.
  • The resident’s continued stay is endangering the safety of other people in the facility.
  • The resident’s stay may compromise the health of other residents or individuals within the nursing home.
  • Failure to pay or apply for Medicaid/Medicare following reasonable notice.
  • The nursing home is closing.

Unfortunately, a nursing home may inappropriately discharge a resident under the pretense of any of the above reasons, while the real agenda is to get rid of the resident for their own selfish gains. For example, “patient dumping,” in which a facility wrongfully evicts a Medicaid resident for more profitable private pay or Medicare residents, is a predatory nursing home behavior. 

If you believe your loved one was wrongfully discharged in a New York nursing home, consult an experienced nursing home negligence attorney for advice on your legal options.

Nursing Homes Are Required to Plan and Notify Before Discharge

When it’s perfectly legal for a nursing home to discharge a resident for the legitimate reasons discussed above, the law stipulates that the facility follows certain criteria for notification and planning of the discharge. Discharge planning ensures the patient’s safety and allows appropriate preparations for subsequent care at home, hospital, or another facility.

Some of the requirements for discharge planning include:

  • The resident or their family/legal representative must be notified in writing at least 30 days before discharge, except for emergency scenarios.
  • The nursing home should prepare a summary note detailing the mental and physical state of the resident.
  • The facility must prepare a comprehensive post-discharge care plan for the resident.
  • The facility has a duty to arrange a safe, orderly, and complete discharge of a resident together with their belongings and personal funds.

The law also grants residents or their families the right to participate in all aspects of this discharge planning.

Fighting a Nursing Home Wrongful Discharge

You and your loved one shouldn’t have to suffer because a nursing home isn’t following the proper provisions of the law when discharging your senior loved one. In the event the resident or loved ones deems the discharge or transfer unfair, they can contest the move by filing a complaint with the state long-term care ombudsman. Typically, the appeal must be filed before the discharge date or if a facility refuses to readmit a patient after hospitalization. The resident has the right to remain in the facility until the appeal is determined.

You can also choose to sue if the nursing home illegally discharges or transfers your loved one. This may be the appropriate decision if your loved one has suffered injuries or pain and suffering following the illegal eviction.

Consult Experienced New York Nursing Home Negligence Lawyers

Dealing with a case of nursing home wrongful discharge of your loved one can be emotionally exhausting. However, you and your loved one deserve better treatment, so you should fight to protect yourself and others from going through the same circumstances.

At Dalli & Marino, LLP, we’re dedicated to helping nursing home residents and their families deal with unlawful discharges or transfers without breaking a sweat. Our experienced lawyers will investigate your case and appropriately advise whether you should file a complaint or sue for compensation. Call us today at (888) 465-8790 or fill out our online form to book a free consultation with our expert nursing home negligence lawyers.


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