Deadline Looms for Preserving Nursing Home Residents’ Rights

An elderly man looking out the window in an old age home

Deadline Looms for Preserving Nursing Home Residents’ Rights

By Jeff D. Stewart

In some years, the West Virginia Legislature gives, and in other years, it takes away. This year, lawmakers gave to the powerful and took away from the most vulnerable.

Time is running out for anyone concerned about protecting the rights of a loved one who might have suffered abuse at a nursing home. Beginning in July, a new West Virginia law, resulting from Senate Bill 338, will take effect. The new law will be good for the profits of big, out-of-state corporate interests but bad for the rights of nursing home residents.

One thing that will change is that people will have less time to take legal action to protect their rights. Generally, the current law allows up to two years to file a claim for nursing home abuse. Senate Bill 338 will cut that time in half. Also, the new law will limit the number of courthouses where legal action may be filed.

The rights of nursing home residents must be protected against such common problems as malnutrition, dehydration, and bedsores, which can lead to more serious conditions, as well as against falls, which are preventable. Understaffing often leads to such problems, but it is no excuse when those problems occur.

The new law will take effect in July. Anyone who might have a legal claim against a nursing home should consider seeking legal advice before then. Acting sooner rather than later could affect your ability to get redress for your grievances.

Consider calling leaders in the field, such as The Bell Law Firm of Charleston, which has successfully represented many families in cases against nursing homes on behalf of abused and neglected elderly residents and their families. The initial consultation is free, and The Bell Law Firm gets paid only if the case is won. Getting ready to place a loved one in a nursing home? Call for a free document review. More information is available toll-free at 800-342-1701 or at

This message is intended to make the reader aware of changes in the law but not to give legal advice. If you have questions, contact The Bell Law Firm or your own attorney.