Are you concerned about a nursing home where a family member resides? Perhaps, you’re doing due diligence before agreeing to move a loved one into a nursing home. Whatever the reason, investigating whether there’s prior litigation against the nursing home is wise. If you want to know how to find out more information, read about how you can access nursing home lawsuit records.
How to Find Nursing Home Lawsuit Records in California
You can take several steps to determine whether anyone has recently filed a lawsuit against the particular nursing home in question.
Search Online for Mentions
Start by conducting a web browser search for the nursing home and city name. You might be surprised to find out how much information is available online. Sometimes news agencies have picked up stories involving cases of nursing home abuse or wrongful death.
Check the Local County Courts
Next, search for the applicable nursing home county court where someone would file a lawsuit against the facility. Start by checking the page to see how to access records for cases in that county. Remember, when you’re searching, there are three levels of state courts:
- Superior court. Each county has its own trial court or superior court. This level includes small claims, limited civil, and unlimited civil divisions.
- Court of appeals. When someone disagrees with the outcome of a superior court case, they can file an appeal with the court of appeals for their district.
- Supreme court. This level is California’s top judicial level and handles appellate cases that have been appealed from the courts of appeal.
Currently, no statewide tool allows you to check for lawsuits in multiple California courts. Most counties have online tools that enable you to search for a case using one party’s name. Then you’ll submit a request to view court records. However, it might be necessary to take a trip to the courthouse in some areas. Not all court records are electronically stored.
Generally, you want to search civil cases, as these would include lawsuit records for nursing homes where people have sued them for compensation. Remember, some nursing homes are chains. You should expand your search to verify whether there are any lawsuits against the overall chain elsewhere in California. Be sure to spell the name correctly because some county systems only accept the exact name of the plaintiff or defendant.
Check Federal Court Records
Not all lawsuits occur in state court. You’ll want to check federal records too, as some litigation involving nursing homes happens in federal district courts. For example, last year, the United States Government filed a lawsuit against a California chain of nursing homes based on allegations of paying illegal kickbacks to physicians.
How to Obtain Records
Once you’ve located previous cases against the facility, the process of requesting the documents to review will vary. Different counties have their own rules for accessing these records. You might need to pay money or go in person to submit a request. The respective clerk of the court websites will explain the application process to see court records.
Lawsuits Filed by Nursing Homes
When you’re conducting research, be sure to check for the nursing home as a plaintiff. Nursing homes across California have filed more than 400 lawsuits since 2016, appealing violations and fines levied against them for poor patient care. It’s estimated that nearly one-third of these regulations involving a patient’s death were downgraded.
Contact a Lawyer Today
If you are sure litigation exists against the nursing home, but you cannot find it, let our experienced legal team help you. We know where to search and how to obtain nursing home lawsuit records. Many court cases are public records, but some are confidential or available only to certain involved parties.
Pursuing a lawsuit against a nursing home for neglect or abuse is not necessarily easy. That is why you need a skilled litigator representing your family. When we investigate alleged abuse or neglect, we look for patterns of abuse and complaints or lawsuits against the nursing home. If you have concerns about a nursing home and believe it has prior lawsuits against it, contact Silva Injury Law today to schedule an initial consultation.
FIND OUT HOW WE CAN HELP
At Silva Injury Law we promote healing through compassionate advocacy. With each case tailored to the individual, we look our for your best interests by evaluating your unique circumstances. Contact us today for a FREE in person or remote consultation.