This Note will show that nursing home tort reform statutes, like Ohio's, have totally missed the mark by disregarding our elders' rights and ignoring the problem of abuse and neglect in nursing facilities. Part II of this Note will look at our nation's elderly population and the poor state of our country's nursing homes. Part III will briefly look at Florida's lawsuit reform act that was passed in May of 2001. Florida, with its large elderly population, was plagued by increasing insurance costs allegedly due to rising litigation and damage awards. Its new law, which has led to strict reductions in a plaintiff's ability to bring suit against a nursing facility, has resulted in other states following suit and initiating their own tort reform laws. Ohio's law in particular is extremely restricting, and it will be the focus of part IV of this Note. Both in Ohio and nationally, more reform is expected. However, most reform has not addressed the real issue facing our nursing homes today-poor care and abuse. The real concern in nursing home reform should be on improving care standards, not on protecting nursing home owners. If nursing homes and our government are truly concerned about the increased prevalence of lawsuits in Ohio and throughout the country, their focus should be on improving care standards in these nursing facilities. If nursing homes were forced to, and actually did provide adequate care, it is not unreasonable to assume that lawsuits, and eventually insurance premiums, would decline.
Note, Nursing Home Tort Reform and Ohio House Bill 412: Why Have We Abandoned Our Neglected and Abused Elderly Population, 51 Clev. St. L. Rev. 645 (2002-2003)