Local Attorney Speaks Out Against Senate Bill 9

Senate Bill 9 has made its way through the Senate and is on it's way to the Kentucky House. If passed it could change the way families report potential abuse at nursing homes.

"This bill is not intended in anyway to hurt anyone who truly has a claim. Someone who has been injured, who has been neglected, abused, harmed. They should have every right to proceed to be compensated for what has happened to them," says State Senator Julie Denton of Jefferson County.

Senator Denton may support the bill but local attorney's who represent abuse claims are against it.

They say the bill would allow the nursing home industry to take advantage of the elderly and their families.

"What's happening is the bill itself is putting profits over people. It's allowing the nursing home industry, the national industry, to make more money," says Attorney Sheila Hiestand with Hughes & Coleman.

Senate Bill 9 says a panel made up of 3 physicians would hear all nursing home abuse cases before going to court.

Attorney's argue the panel would be ill educated, slowing down an already painful process.

"This panel is going to be made up of folks that are going to look at limited facts and what we all know is that it takes years getting the nursing home to finally produce true and accurate records," says Hiestand.

Hiestand encourages all families with a loved one in a nursing home to call their legislators.

Nursing homes say the new bill will save them money by keeping frivolous lawsuits away.

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