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TELL THE TRUTH

In two cases our law firm is handling, we have discovered what I would describe as willful and deliberate failure on the part of nursing homes to report deaths of residents that occurred as a result of gross negligence on the part of the nursing home. In one case involving the choking death of a resident in Macomb County, the administrator of the facility advised the State that the matter had “slipped his mind.” In another matter involving medication error, a facility in Brighton decided that it had no obligation to report the error which ultimately resulted in the death of the resident because it “hadn’t received a medical report” from the hospital where the resident was taken following the incident. Senate Bill 462 was recently introduced in the Michigan Senate. It mandates and requires that individuals employed by nursing homes “immediately” report abuse, mistreatment or neglect to the State. Unfortunately, the Senate bill provides no meaningful sanction in the event that reporting does not occur. It is unfortunate that the State Senate feels the need to pass a bill requiring that nursing home administrators tell the truth about what happens to their residents. If it is going to pass such a bill, it should put in meaningful sanctions.