Long Term Care – Litigation and Risk Management

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Christy T. Crider

Baker Donelson's Long Term Care Industry Service Team provides risk management services and defends clients in litigation throughout the United States. Our extensive experience with and knowledge of the long term care industry guides and informs our litigation work – whether it is an administrative appeal or an immediate jeopardy citation, a lawsuit alleging neglect or a high court appeal. Whatever the issue, our attorneys rarely have to begin research anew. When we defend a client, we are polishing legal arguments and refining strategies, not inventing them.

As providers know, long term care litigation is unique in essential ways. Our attorneys know and understand the strategies employed by long term care plaintiffs' counsel, a small fraternity. We know intimately the complex regulations that apply to long term care facilities – an absolute prerequisite to effective defense. Our attorneys understand the nuances of state adult protection law and surrogate statutes, as well as broader areas such as arbitration and malpractice law that affect long-term care providers. We closely monitor tort reform and other legislation, court decisions and news that might affect clients.

Long term care litigation is almost always more complex than ordinary medical malpractice suits. These cases typically encompass longer periods of time, involve more witnesses and are broader in scope. Managing such complicated litigation requires a distinct set of skills, and we often serve as consultants to local counsel and help manage litigation nationwide.

Baker Donelson attorneys strive to provide clients the best, most effective and cost-efficient solutions to their litigation needs. Our team members proactively work with facilities to develop policies, procedures and strategic plans designed to minimize litigation. We draft admission documents and help clients educate families about setting realistic expectations. We help train staff to keep accurate charts, making it easier to defend clients if something goes wrong, and we draft arbitration agreements that keep most disputes out of court.

If litigation becomes unavoidable, Baker Donelson employs early resolution methods and should a matter proceed to trial, our attorneys are licensed in more than 30 states and are ready to defend the full gamut of claims.

Baker Donelson’s long term care attorneys have experience at every court level, from administrative law proceedings to appeals. We handle survey deficiencies, including immediate jeopardy citations; disputes with the Office of Inspector General (OIG); and cases involving the False Claims Act. On the appellate level, we have helped clients reduce or eliminate punitive damage awards. Our attorneys have also worked on a number of appeals involving issues of first impression, helping clients shape long term care law in ways that are beneficial to their business.

Our Long Term Care Industry Service Team members excel at litigation because together we have worked on and understand every aspect of our client’s business. From beginning to end, we serve not just as legal counsel but as a partner in that business. No law firm in the country offers such comprehensive representation.