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Supreme Court Ruling Upholds Nursing Home Residents’ Rights to Pursue Lawsuits

In November 2022, the United States Supreme Court heard arguments in the case of Health and Hospital Corporation v. Talevski. The case, filed by Ivanka Talevski, argues that her husband’s rights detailed in the Federal Nursing Home Reform Act were violated while he was a resident of one of Health and Hospital Corporation’s nursing homes.

Health and Hospital Corporation appealed rulings in favor of Talevski, claiming residents are not able to seek private legal action under the Federal Nursing Home Reform Act.

On June 8, 2023, the Supreme Court rejected Health and Hospital Corporation’s counterargument. In a 7 to 2 vote, the justices upheld the rights of millions of Medicare and Medicaid recipients throughout the nation to pursue legal action if they experience nursing home abuse.

Understanding Health and Hospital Corporation v. Talevski

Ivanka Talevski first filed her case in 2019 under Section 1983 of the U.S. Code, which allows individuals the right to sue for any violations of their civil rights. As a recipient of Medicaid, Talevski believed her husband’s rights under the Federal Nursing Home Reform Act were violated.

Talevski’s husband, Gorgi Talevski, was heavily medicated and sedated instead of being treated for dementia while a resident at Valparaiso Care in Indiana, a facility that Health and Hospital Corporation managed. She also stated that he was transferred to another facility without proper notification.

Health and Hospital Corporation argued that their facilities took all necessary actions to care for Talevski’s husband. Despite local courts ruling in favor of Talevski, the corporation appealed, sending the case to the Supreme Court. Health and Hospital Corporation claimed that Section 1983 cannot be used to enforce rights that are only detailed when receiving federal funds like Medicare and Medicaid.

For months, AARP representatives and many other advocates for nursing home residents called on the Supreme Court to rule in favor of Talevski and uphold the rights of nursing home residents no matter how their care is paid for.

More than 20 briefs were filed to provide information and arguments for the case, detailing the importance for nursing home residents to have access to legal action if their rights are violated.

The Importance of Lawsuits for Residents’ Rights

In 1987, the Federal Nursing Home Reform Act established a number of rights to which residents of nursing homes were entitled if they were receiving Medicaid or Medicare.

Some of these rights nursing home residents are entitled to include:

  • Right to a dignified existence free of abuse
  • Right to be fully informed of care they are receiving
  • Right to raise grievances
  • Right to self-determination to decide care, activities, and more

Nursing home abuse and nursing home neglect can happen when these rights are not protected or otherwise violated. Unfortunately, nursing home abuse is too common and seems to be growing worse due to severe understaffing and an aging population.

Did You Know

Roughly 85% of assisted living facilities in the nation reported at least one case of abuse or neglect, according to a report from the Department of Health and Human Services.

The Supreme Court ruling ensures individuals can pursue legal help if their rights are not upheld or if they suffer preventable injuries like broken bones or stage 4 bedsores. Families of nursing home residents may also be able to file wrongful death claims if a negligent care facility causes their loved one to die.

Pursuing justice through legal options allows residents or their surviving family members to hold abusers accountable and prevent abuse from happening again.

Protecting and Advocating for Residents

The Nursing Home Abuse Center celebrates this decision from the Supreme Court that avoided such a dangerous precedent. Our team will continue to advocate for resources and excellent care for all nursing home residents.

Justice for nursing home abuse can be achieved. If a loved one has experienced abuse or neglect while at a nursing home or long-term care facility, we are here to help.

We can connect you with lawyers and other resources in your area to help you fight for those you love. Contact us today at (855) 264-6310 to learn more.

Nursing Home Abuse Support Team

The Nursing Home Abuse Center (NHAC) was founded to bring justice to those affected by nursing home and elder abuse. Our mission is to educate and empower victims of abuse and their families to take a stand against this unlawful mistreatment. We work to return dignity back to those who have been broken down by nursing home abuse and neglect.

  1. ACLU. “ACLU Hails Supreme Court Decision in Health and Hospital Corporation of Marion County v. Talevski.” Retrieved from: Accessed on June 28, 2023.
  2. “Brief amici curiae of Members of Congress.” Health and Hospital Corporation v. Talevski. Retrieved from: Accessed on June 28, 2023.
  3. Department of Health and Human Services. (2014). “Nursing Facilities’ Compliance with Federal Regulations for Reporting Allegations of Abuse or Neglect.” Retrieved from: Accessed on June 28, 2023.
  4. “Supreme Court urged to preserve private suits against public nursing homes.” Reuters. Retrieved from: Accessed on June 28, 2023.