Florida law doesn’t require a minimum amount of insurance coverage for injuries or death caused by careless nursing home staff. As a result, nursing homes in Florida know they can’t be sued, and therefore, they cut down on their services; they cut down on their staff; they cut down on their supplies. All this adds to the profitability of nursing homes.
Get this: Many Florida nursing homes only have $50,000 insurance for injuries or death of a resident, and that amount is reduced by defense fees and costs. What that means is that if a resident or family member brings a claim, and fights it out, the nursing home’s lawyers will end up with the $50,000 in their pockets, leaving nothing for the injured resident. What about going to court and getting a judgment against the nursing home? These nursing homes lease everything and essentially have no collectible assets. Take the judgment, buy a nice frame and put it on the wall.
Here’s an actual response I got from a presuit request for information to Emerald Health Care in Port St Lucie (which has a 50,000/300,000 policy):
“There are currently 39 reported cases applicable to the policy…Based on the number of reported cases it is likely the aggregate limit of the policy will become exhausted.”
Only when the family members of Florida’s legislators start getting injured and killed in nursing homes will we have a chance to get this law changed. Meanwhile, corporate profits in the nursing home industry are King.