Can a County Owned and Operated Nursing Home Be Sued for Negligent Care?

Nursing Home Abuse
Date: April 21, 2021

Recently our firm has been contacted by two (2) families who suffered catastrophic injuries to a loved one while a resident of a county-owned and operated nursing home.  Due to what appeared to be careless and negligent care, both individuals suffered uncalled for damages.  Unfortunately, due to a quirk in Pennsylvania law, we were required to advise the families that the county-owned facilities were immune from lawsuits for this type of conduct.  Both families asked: “How could this be?” The simple answer is that under Pennsylvania Law a municipality, such as a county, is IMMUNE from lawsuits unless its conduct fall under one of several sections of the Municipal Tort Claims Act, Ch. 85 Sec. 8542.  These exceptions only include careless operation of a vehicle, negligent care, custody, and control of personal property causing property loss, defects in real estate, negligent care of trees, traffic control signals and street lighting, utility service failures and problems with streets and sidewalks.   To qualify under one of these exceptions there all sorts of hoops to jump through.  And if you do qualify, there are caps on damages in the amount of $500,000.  Conspicuously absent from the exceptions is “medical negligence”.  Without falling under one of the exceptions, the two (2) families were out of luck trying to sue the county-owned and operated nursing home.

Contact an Experienced Pennsylvania Nursing Home Abuse Law Firm

If you or a loved one is injured in a nursing home or personal care home call the seasoned trial lawyers at Dougherty Leventhal & Price, LLP.

Remember: Injury? Call DLP! (570) C-A-L-L-D-L-P.

Joe Price
Attorney Joe Price is a seasoned Trial Lawyer serving Northeast, Central and Southeast Pennsylvania for the past forty (40) years. He has handled serious personal injury cases in courts throughout the Federal system including New Jersey and New York. Attorney Price is A.V. Rated by Martindale Hubble. He is Board Certified in Civil Practice by the National Board of Trial Advocacy since 1996.