Chapter 400 in the state of Florida: Has nursing home litigation gone too far?

A. G. Golden, C. Beber, M. A. Silverman, B. A. Roos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


In response to public concerns about neglect and abuse, the state of Florida has enacted Chapter 400, which includes statutes and regulations delineating the civil rights of nursing home residents. By authorizing attorneys' fees and punitive damage awards, this legislation greatly increases the legal exposure and potential liability of nursing homes in Florida by associating civil rights with biomedical outcomes and social concerns. Any adverse outcomes, such as pressure ulcers, falls, or malnutrition, even in the most rapidly and hopelessly deteriorating resident, may constitute a licensee's violation of the resident's rights under Chapter 400 and thus provide the pretext for claims of negligent care on the part of the nursing home. By equating the often inevitable development of these geriatric syndromes with negligent care, any "injury,", large or small, can translate into high returns for plaintiff attorneys. Here we describe the critical components of Chapter 400 and discuss the potential impact of this legislation on the delivery of chronic care of the frail elderly.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)245-256
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Mental Health and Aging
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 29 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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