Maryland Nursing Home Abuse Appeals

It is hard enough to watch a loved one suffer from nursing home abuse or neglect, but to go through the ordeal of filing a formal complaint or a lawsuit to achieve relief and then to have a case denied is even more difficult. It is also challenging to win at the trial level only to have the defense file an appeal of your hard-fought victory.

Maryland nursing home abuse appeals will vary in format depending on the type of decision being appealed and the grounds for the appeal. A dedicated nursing home abuse lawyer who has handled appeals can provide assistance and guidance.

Types of Decisions Which May Be Appealed

Parties seeking help to fight nursing home abuse may face denials and need to appeal a decision at many stages along the way. A civil lawsuit that proceeds to trial may end with a less than a favorable outcome, and that case the party seeking relief may wish to file an appeal in Maryland appellate court. However, if criminal charges are filed against a nursing home or nursing home employee, the case is brought by the government and the choice whether to appeal an unfavorable ruling rests with the state.

If a resident or the resident’s representative tries to resolve a nursing home dispute with a county long-term care Ombudsman and fails to achieve a satisfactory result, that outcome may be appealed by filing a formal complaint with the Maryland Office of Health Care Quality. If the end of that complaint process fails to resolve the outstanding issues, the decision may be appealed by filing a lawsuit, if one has not already been filed.

Many nursing home contracts in Maryland now have arbitration clauses that specify that if a dispute arises, it must be settled through the arbitration process rather than a civil lawsuit. It is often alleged that the arbitration process lacks the impartiality of the trial process and is therefore inherently unfair to those suffering nursing home abuse.

There are a number of arguments that can be raised in court to fight the application of an arbitration agreement. However, the results of an arbitration decision cannot usually be appealed in court, so it is most effective to find legal grounds to attack the enforcement of the arbitration clause.

Appealing a Trial Court Decision

In many nursing home abuse cases, a settlement is reached before a trial concludes or even before it begins. However, if a case goes to trial and a verdict is reached, either party may appeal the decision. The appeal may be based on a finding of liability or the amount awarded. If the person alleging abuse is awarded a large sum, very often the nursing home will file an appeal, which will extend the process.

Proceedings in Maryland appellate court differ greatly from trial courts. Arguments are usually submitted to the courts in written briefs, and new evidence is not introduced unless a case is ordered to be re-tried. Decisions are made based on questions of law rather than questions of fact. For instance, with Maryland nursing home abuse appeals, a court would not be determining whether abuse occurred but might settle a question regarding whether certain evidence of abuse should have been admitted at trial.

Further Information About Nursing Home Abuse Appeals in Maryland

Maryland nursing home abuse appeals are complex and often take substantial time to resolve. Many appeals hinge on legal arguments, so to obtain information and explanation, it is advisable to talk to a nursing home abuse attorney with experience handling appeals. Call today and set up a consultation.