A new state law, signed by Gov. Ron DeSantis in June, calls for the state attorneys of every circuit to create elder abuse death review teams, with the goal of identifying systemic problems and reducing the risk of Florida nursing home abuse and neglect. These teams, comprised of not only prosecutors but experts in the medical field and elder care providers, will review closed death cases in which elder abuse was suspected or alleged to determine whether legal or policy changes could prevent such tragedy from recurring.
Cases need not have been successfully prosecuted to be forwarded to the review team. As our West Palm Beach nursing home injury lawyers understand, the idea is to identify and address local gaps in services to elderly and vulnerable populations. The purpose isn’t to facilitate criminal charges or even civil proceedings. It will not be an investigative branch of the state attorney’s office, but rather will only be able to make recommendations. The teams will report their findings and recommendations to the governor, state lawmakers and state Department of Children and Families annually on Nov. 1st. Proponents of the new law say it’s taken four years to gain sufficient support to pass the measure. Continue reading