PHOENIX - A bill making its way through the legislature would limit awards of attorney fees in abuse cases involving the elderly and vulnerable adults.
House Bill 2560, sponsored by Republican Ted Vogt out of Tucson, removes the ability for the court to order the payment of attorney fees in civil claims related to the care of vulnerable adults.
Supporters say it is an attempt to reduce the amount of frivolous lawsuits and unnecessary attorney fees that are crippling care homes and taking advantage of vulnerable adults.
John Scott Williams with Fellowship Square, a care home in Mesa, said it will speed up the process for those truly injured.
"Now the attorneys looking at the case will say 'is this worth our time and effort,'" he said. "It won't limit any cases except for those frivolous."
"It is a bad bill," said Phoenix attorney Craig Knapp. "Why should the victim who has been abused and neglected be responsible for the expense?"
One of Knapp's clients, Ron Gerumbo, recently settled a case with a Flagstaff care home after his brother died from a severe head trauma.
"They fought us and denied it all," he said.
Gerumbo worries that if the bill passes other families would not be able to get the representation and the compensation they need to fight for their loved ones.
The bill already passed the House and will go to a vote in the state Senate next week.
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