Currently pending in congress is bill HR5 sponsored by Representative Phil Gingrey. If HR5 passes, it would protect some of the worst nursing homes from even the most egregious abuses by severely limiting damages.
If this law passes, even a nursing home where a resident was admittedly beaten to death or raped by a known dangerous employee, damages are capped despite what a jury believes is the right thing to do.
Interestingly, when it comes to his own lawsuits, Representative Gingrey seems to have a different point of view.
A recent article by Public Citizen writes that after a 2004 rear-end car accident, Representative Gingrey sued the other driver and sought damages for “mental pain” and punitive damages to be determined by “the enlightened conscience of fair and impartial jurors.” He claimed he “was injured grievously, has experienced conscious physical and mental pain, suffering, fright and distress in the past, and will continue to suffer the same in the future, for which he is entitled to recover general damages … in amounts to be determined by a jury.”
A Gingrey constituent, who had both her arms amputated as a result of medical errors after her car accident, wrote him a letter asking him to reconsider his bill.
It seems hypocritical that for his car accident, Mr. Gingrey should have the right to a full and fair jury award, but a person who is seriously injured or killed in a nursing home is restricted.