Attorneys with Blasingame, Burch, Garrard & Ashley, P.C.; and co-chairs Prieto, Marigliano, Holbert & Prieto, LLC; and Watkins, Lourie, Roll & Chance, P.C., gathered with dozens of plaintiff’s attorneys in Atlanta on February 27 at The General Assembly at Ponce City Market for the first annual Elder Abuse Litigation Seminar.
The one-day event, which was part of the Georgia Trial Lawyer’s Association’s (GTLA) Continued Learning Education program, covered topics surrounding elder abuse litigation with speakers presenting on nursing home abuse, motions to compel & discovery and disputes; establishing corporate liability, focus groups, corporate 30 (b) (6) depositions, and arbitration law.
Speakers included Jeff Helms, Helms Law Firm; Lee Atkinson, BBGA; Stephen Chance, Watkins, Lourie, Roll & Chance, PC; Saul Gruber, Gruber Trial Consulting; Mark Kosieradzki, Kosieradzki Smith Law Firm, LLC; and Alex Hughes, BBGA.
The seminar also held two panels. One that featured multiple RNs who discussed the screening process for pressure sore cases, and the other featured AJC reporters Carrie Teegardin and Brad Schrade, who discussed their ongoing investigative journalism on liability in assisted living centers and personal care homes in Georgia.
The panel on pressure sores included Kate Hughes, Wagner Hughes, LLC; Suzanne Fink, Watkins, Lourie, Roll & Chance, PC; Darla Ura, RN; and Nancy Urff, RN, Prieto, Margiliano, Holbert & Prieto, LLC.
Joining reporters Teegardin and Schrade on the assisted living facilities and personal care homes panel was Bill Holbert, Prieto, Margiliano, Holbert & Prieto, LLC.
“Elder abuse and negligence are a growing problem in Georgia and across the U.S.,” said BBGA nursing home abuse attorney Evan Jones. “The Elder Abuse Litigation Seminar is aimed at bringing to light the various problems within these facilities and educating plaintiff’s attorneys on legal tactics to employ on behalf of their clients, first to ensure the victims and their families get the best representation, and ultimately, so that we’re holding the right people responsible for the neglect and abuse that’s being directed at one of the most vulnerable populations in the country, the elderly.”
Jones went on to say that elder abuse can occur in hospitals, nursing homes, memory care centers, assisted living facilities, personal care homes, adult day health centers, respite care, home health services, hospice, and VA medical centers.
“Elder abuse and neglect aren’t confined to nursing homes; it can happen just about anywhere,” Jones said. “We need to be diligent in our efforts to protect the elderly and disabled, who are often left in the care of understaffed, overworked, uneducated, and sometimes outright abusive staff and caregivers at these facilities.”
A networking reception was held at 9 Mile Station following the seminar.