Compensation for residents who sue California nursing homes for rights violations are being capped at $500 per lawsuit following a ruling by the state’s Supreme Court.
The court handed down the ruling Monday in a 5-2 decision. The case centered on the interpretation of a 1982 statute that allows residents to file a lawsuit if their rights have been violated, the Los Angeles Times reported.
The majority opinion found that meant residents may collect no more than $500 for patient’s rights violations, regardless of how many, while the dissenting justices argued the law sets a $500 cap for each violation, according to the report.
Justice Ming W. Chin, who authored the majority decision, also noted that residents can sue under different laws and collect more compensation.
“We do not find that limiting an award to $500 per lawsuit would render the statute ‘toothless,’” he wrote.
An attorney for the California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform said the decision was disappointing and the group plans to call on state lawmakers to rewrite the policy.