CA Antipsychotic Case Settled

The three year legal battle with Ventura Convalescent Hospital over the alleged use of anti-psychotic medications without consent has been settled. The original suit was filed in 2011 by Kathi Levine (the daughter of a former resident) and later had 305 other residents or their families join the action, which later received support from the AARP. The settlement included $183,000 to former residents and $472,000 to the plaintiff attorneys. Each former resident will receive $600 and Levine will get $10,000 as the lead plaintiff.

California law requires that each skilled nursing facility “verify informed consent prior to the administration of psychotherapeutic drugs in the SNF, use of physical restraints in the SNF, or the prolonged use of a device in the SNF that may lead to the inability to regain use of a normal bodily function”. The  case underscores the continuing need for facilities to carefully document both patient care the procedures the  caregivers are expected to adhere to. 

Coverage for the case like this under a malpractice insurance policy highlights two issues – what triggers a claims and how to deductibles apply. The standard terms offered by insurance companies and the modifications insurance brokers can negotiate are not standard, partnering with an expert broker ensures your facility can obtain the best terms possible.

Malpractice policies are generally triggered by an injury to a resident caused by a facilities negligence. If the complaint was filed as a violation of a residents rights or they did not assert a physical injury, coverage would likely not be triggered. This is an especially common structure under cheaper policies.

If a liability policy does provide coverage the question over how the deductible applies looms. Would the mentioned case be subject to one deductible or 306? With even smaller faculties commonly carrying deductibles over $10,000 it’s likely this entire $650,000 case could fall under the retention. “Batch coverage” is the ability to assign multiple plaintiffs under on retention if their claims are related, each carrier negotiates this differently.

Contact to discuss cost effective ways to increase insurance coverage for your elder care services. The expert intermediates can assist in analyzing coverage situations and negotiate improvements on their clients behalf.