The Law’s Limits in Nursing Home Neglect and Abuse Cases

Our law firm represents nursing home residents and their families in tragic cases of nursing home neglect and abuse. We do everything in our power to vindicate the resident’s rights under Virginia law.

But sadly, the law’s limits prevent us from the following understandable requests:

– “I want you to shut that nursing home down.” – “I want that nurse fired.” – “I want a formal written apology.” – I want everyone in town to know what they did to my Mom. Everyone. I am calling the news. ” –  “I want their licensed revoked.” – “I want that person arrested and prosecuted.”

There are limits to our civil justice system.

Even if a Virginia company that runs a local nursing home neglects a loved one and their neglect caused the resident’s death, we are limited to seeking a recovery of monetary damages at trial – it is the only way we can hold nursing home corporations accountable under the law. 

Money damages for a medical malpractice case or wrongful death case will include repayment of medical bills, perhaps funeral costs, pain and suffering or the loss your family feels because you have lost someone.

– Only the Virginia Department of Health can revoke a nursing home license.

– Only your local Commonwealth Attorney can prosecute a case criminally.

Every plaintiff must prove the facility (or it’s staff) (a) was negligent and (b) that their negligence was a cause of the resident’s injuries in order to obtain money damages. Nursing homes rarely make generous settlement offers to families who have suffered. In fact, they rarely make fair settlement offers at all – and so we have no choice but to ask a jury to render justice for a family and their loved ones.

Lauren Ellerman
Lauren Ellerman

In 2011, Lauren Ellerman was named "Young Lawyer of the Year" by the Roanoke Bar Association for her work in the community. To speak with Lauren about your personal injury case, contact her at