Elder Abuse

 

California law provides special protection for senior citizens. Those who neglect or abuse the elderly, either physically or financially, are liable to compensate the victim or the victim’s family under the Elder And Dependent Adult Civil Protection Act (“EDACPA”). The Act provides special remedies for victims of physical and financial elder abuse.

The purpose of EDACPA is to discourage poor care of the elderly by providing a remedy for victims of abuse. The law provides for compensation for the emotional and physical suffering of the elderly person to the victim or to his or her heirs if the victim is deceased, as well as reimbursement of the attorneys fees necessary to bring the claim.

PHYSICAL ELDER ABUSE usually takes the form of reckless neglect - where someone, whether it’s a licensed care facility or an individual caring for someone in their home, so neglects the person that they are physically injured or die.  Their conduct is not merely negligent, it rises to the level of a conscious course of conduct or an utter disregard for the foreseeable consequences of their actions . While physical elder abuse can occur in a variety of settings, many claims arise from abuse and neglect of residents in Skilled Nursing Facilities, often called nursing homes, and Residential Care Facilities, often called board and cares.  

Signs and symptoms of physical elder abuse include bedsores (also sometimes called pressure ulcers), broken bones from preventable falls or other unexplained circumstances, dehydration, malnutrition, and infections that become systemic because they are left untreated. 

FINANCIAL ELDER ABUSE also takes a variety of forms - the most common is where people who the elderly person entrusts with their finances - as trustee, power of attorney, or in whatever other capacity - take advantage of the person’s trust and use the elderly person’s assets for themselves.

We also sometimes see abuse by professionals, such as stock brokers, investment advisors, and insurance agents who churn accounts or sell inappropriate financial vehicles to elderly people which generate high commissions but don’t benefit the elder.

The EADACPA statute defines financial elder abuse as “the taking, secreting, appropriating, obtaining, or retaining the property of an elder or a dependent adult for a wrongful purpose or with the intent to defraud”.  It is also elder financial abuse for one to assist someone else in doing those things, or to accomplish those things through the use of undue influence. A person or entity is deemed to have taken the property of an elder for a wrongful use if, among other things, the person or entity knew or should have known that their conduct was likely to be harmful to the elder.

If you believe that you or a loved one has been the victim of elder physical or financial abuse, the experienced attorneys at Tillem McNichol & Brown can help you receive the compensation you deserve for the harms you have suffered.  Contact us today by phone at 800-996-4505 or by e-mail at litigation@lentillem.com for a free consultation.