It is well known, and expressly noted by the California Legislature, that the elderly segment of the population is particularly subject to various forms of abuse and neglect. Welfare & Institutions code Â§15600(a) – (d). Physical infirmity or mental impairments, such as those suffered by elders, often place the elderly in a dependent and vulnerable position. See id. At the same time, these impairments have left the elderly, and elders, incapable of asking for help and/or protection.
The California Legislature has promulgated the Elder Adult and Dependent Adult Civil Protection Act (EADACPA), codified in California Welfare & Institutions Code Â§Â§ 15657 through 15657.3. The purpose and intent of the inclusion of California Welfare & Institutions Code Â§Â§ 15657 through 15657.3 in the EADACPA is made clear by the simultaneous addition of subsections (h) and (j) to California Welfare & Institutions Code Â§15600. Pursuant to California Welfare & Institutions Code Â§15600(h), the Legislature declared that infirm, elderly and dependent adults are a disadvantaged class, and that few civil cases are brought in connection with their abuse due to problems with proof, delays and lack of incentives to prosecute these suits.
EADACPA defines an “elder,” as any person residing in California who is and adult sixty-five (65) years of age or older, such as the decedent herein. Abuse under an EADACPA claim in a civil action includes “physical abuse” as defined in California Welfare & Institutions Code Â§15610.63 (d), as well as “neglect,” as defined in California Welfare & Institutions Code Â§15610.57
EADACPA has defined “neglect,” under California Welfare & Institutions Code Â§15610.57, to mean:
“Neglect” is the negligent failure of any person having care or
custody of an elder or dependent adult to exercise that degree of care
which a reasonable person in a like position would exercise.’Neglect’
includes but is not limited to all of the following:…(2) failure to
provide medical care for physical and mental needs.
About the Author
Attorney Steven Peck has been practicing law since 1981. A former successful business owner, Mr. Peck initially focused his legal career on business law. Within the first three years, after some colleagues and friend’s parents endured nursing home neglect and elder abuse, he continued his education to begin practicing elder law and nursing home abuse law.