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Wednesday, November 13, 2013

WVAJ president says personal injury lawyers holding nursing homes accountable

Today's post was shared by Legal Newsline and comes from legalnewsline.com

Heartland of Charleston
Heartland of Charleston

Heartland of Charleston

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (Legal Newsline) – Bernie Layne speaks from his experience as a personal injury lawyer and family member when he addresses the importance of representing the elderly and their relatives in nursing home cases.

Layne, the president of the West Virginia Association for Justice and a partner with Mani Ellis & Layne in Charleston, explains that he went to law school after witnessing the vulnerability of the disabled and elderly during his work with the Title 19 Medicaid Waiver Program in southern West Virginia.

He also contends that his area of litigation became important to him after his own grandfather, who was restrained to a bed in a nursing home, choked to death while eating breakfast.

“There are laws to protect those in our nursing homes, but policing them is not something that our government is willing to do or capable of doing,” Layne said.

“If nursing homes are following the law, have adequate staffing and are not putting their profits ahead of residents’ safety, they have no concerns.

“But if they’re not, as civil attorneys, we have the ability to ensure that those nursing homes not following the law will be held accountable for it.”

Not everyone in West Virginia shares Layne’s perspective, especially in the wake of the $91 million verdict in the Heartland of Charleston case. In recent years, the case not only called into question the state’s...

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