Daily Journal Interviews Stephen M. Garcia on the Changing Landscape of Elder Abuse Cases
In the Daily Journal article, “Lawyers say opinion could change landscape of elder abuse cases,” Stephen M. Garcia, Founding Partner of Garcia, Artigliere & Medby, discusses the increased interest among plaintiff attorneys in pursuing skilled nursing class actions based on violations allowed under the Health and Safety Code Section 1430(b). These can be very lucrative class actions as they typically involve countless violations which can add up to large sums of money. A provision to the section enables attorneys to collect attorney fees based on the violation and injunctive relief making a long list of violations very profitable.
An appellate court opinion in November states that a plaintiff can only collect a penalty once, no matter how many times the violation was committed. “The appellate court agreed that this was not to be a tool to enrich lawyers or enrich anybody improperly,” says Mr. Garcia. While the full effect of the ruling is yet to seen, plaintiffs may seek incentives through attorney fees and injunctive relief the statute provides.