Lawmakers in Tennessee have voted against a a bill that would have capped damages in lawsuits against nursing homes. The proposed legislation would have placed a cap of $500,000 on non-economic damages in nursing home cases. Critics of the bill argued that lawsuits are necessary to prompt nursing homes to improve patient care.
The proposal was denounced as the “Kill Old People Cheap Act” by Representative Henry Fincher, a Democrat who voted against the bill. Proponents of the bill argued that the caps are warranted in order to eliminate frivolous lawsuits. Politicians in favor of such a cap drastically underestimate the pain and suffering, as well as shame and embarrassment, endured by a nursing home resident who has been neglected or abused.
Measure to cap nursing home damages fails in House, Knoxville News Sentinel, Lucas L. Johnson II, April 21, 2009.