Many experienced Kentucky nursing home abuse and neglect attorneys had been keeping an eye on Senate Bill 9. If the bill had become a law, its requirements would have made it more difficult for victims of nursing home abuse and their families to hold nursing homes accountable. Fortunately, the bill has been defeated.
The bill, which had narrowly passed the Kentucky Senate, would have changed the procedure for pursuing a claim against a potentially negligent nursing home. It would have required those seeking to hold nursing homes accountable to submit their claims to a three-person medical review panel. The panel would consist of three doctors – one chosen by the injured person, one chosen by the nursing home, and one chosen by the other two doctors. The panel will be overseen by an attorney, who does not participate in the decision.
The panel would examine the evidence and determine whether or not it supports a breach in the standard of care. If the panel doesn’t think a case exists, the case would not be allowed to move forward to trial. If the panel believes a case exists, the injured person may seek damages.
Supporters of the bill said that it would have cut down on “frivolous lawsuits” by ensuring cases are screened before trial. Opponents, however, noted that the fear of “frivolous” cases is overblown and that this procedure would have placed an unnecessary obstacle in front of injured people who are already struggling to get the compensation they need. Political analysts, believed that the bill will not pass the Kentucky House, and they were right.