Practicing Law With a Passion for the Rights of the Individual

Nursing Home Neglect

Over 25 years ago, attorneys Jim Wilkes and Tim McHugh started one of the first nursing home neglect law firms to fight neglect in nursing homes. Since that time, the Tampa office has grown from a small nursing home neglect law firm to close to 20 Tampa nursing home neglect attorneys. In addition, the firm has grown from one small Tampa nursing home neglect law firm into nine law offices that span the nation, with nursing home neglect attorneys licensed to practice in over 25 states. In fact, our Tampa attorneys alone are licensed to practice in over a dozen states.

Over the years, Tampa lawyers Jim Wilkes and Tim McHugh have been hailed as the "pioneers" of nursing home abuse and neglect litigation for their fight against neglect in nursing homes. In fact, the National Law Journal featured Tampa-based Wilkes & McHugh P.A.'s nursing home abuse and neglect litigation practice in its "Plaintiffs' Hot List."

Below you will find the various columns that have been written by Wilkes & McHugh, P.A. lawyers. The left toolbar features archives of past guest columns written by Wilkes & McHugh, P.A. attorneys.

(03/04/2011 Memphis Commercial Appeal) Guest Column By: D'Army Bailey

The proposals go well beyond severely limiting Tennessee residents' rights to fair and adequate compensation. They are designed to protect large corporations and negligent doctors who cause serious harm

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(12/22/2004 Miami Herald) Guest Column By: Kenneth L. Connor

Last week, in the spirit of the season, the Florida Supreme Court delivered a spectacular gift to the nursing-home industry. But to the families of nursing-home residents who suffered abuse or neglect, it sent a lump of coal.

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(08/13/2004 Nashville Business Journal) Guest Column By: Brian D. Reddick

In short, the nursing home industry in Tennessee is doing a horrible job of meeting even the most basic of minimum standards put in place to protect and safeguard residents from harm. Imagine the outcry if 99 percent of schools failed to meet minimum educational criteria or if one in three child day care centers were caught harming children. Would the outcry be about their rising insurance rates?

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(07/21/2004 Miami Herald) Guest Column By: Kenneth L. Connor

Name-calling by the RNC serves no useful purpose for anyone but the Democrats, who will be quick to point out the hypocrisy behind the RNC's accusations. Republicans will do well to stay focused on issues and to avoid the name-calling. Republican values of lower taxes, less government and more freedom are winning the hearts and minds of the American people -- let's not lose those hearts and minds by demeaning others simply because of their chosen profession.

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(07/13/2004 Orlando Sentinel) Guest Column By: Kenneth L. Connor

The mere fact that someone is a trial lawyer should not be the gauge by which to judge that person. All professions have members who reflect poorly on them. Doctors, lawyers, Indian chiefs -- all have members who are an embarrassment to the others.

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(03/25/2004 Stuart News) Guest Column By: Barbara Hengstebeck

As citizens of this state, we have a fundamental question to ask: "How far are we willing to go to protect neglectful and abusive nursing home operators?" As recently reported in this paper, three years ago the Florida Legislature passed a comprehensive bill (SB 1202) designed to address the "skyrocketing lawsuit" problem faced by our state's nursing homes. At the time, resident advocates such as myself contended that the escalation in litigation was due primarily to poor care. Industry representatives contended that the problem was due to a plaintiff-friendly law and an aggressive trial bar.

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(10/20/2003 Before the U.S. Senate Special Committee On Aging) Guest Column By: Kenneth L. Connor

Thank you for your willingness to address the problems of neglect, abuse, and financial exploitation of the elderly in our society. These are problems of enormous magnitude, but about which the public, law enforcement, and lawmakers have been largely uninformed.

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(04/17/2002 Oklahoma Journal Record) Guest Column By: Jim Wilkes

Exactly one year ago, the U.S. Congress released a devastating report showing that 85% of homes in Oklahoma “violated federal health and safety standards”. The report also found that nearly one out of every six homes was putting residents in “immediate jeopardy” and “had caused actual harm to residents or placed them at risk of death or serious injury”. And what makes these numbers even more shocking is that they are most likely “understated.”

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(04/08/2002 St. Petersburg Times) Guest Column By: Barbara Hengstebeck

The Coalition to Protect America's Elders supports a change to Florida law that would allow residents the option of installing surveillance cameras in their rooms. These cameras would not be mandatory, nor would homes be required to pay any of the costs, as they would be the responsibility of residents and their families. A notice on the door would alert employees and others that a security camera is monitoring the room.

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(03/18/2002 Tallahassee Democrat) Guest Column By: Barbara Hengstebeck

When crimes like those described in the GAO report occur, law enforcement agencies would be armed with the evidence they might need to prosecute the offenders. In fact, Florida's top law enforcement officer, Attorney General Bob Butterworth, recently issued a report stating that "the likely deterrent effect on resident abuse and neglect ... suggests that the voluntary use of cameras in ... resident rooms would work well in Florida."

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(02/25/2002 Hattiesburg American) Guest Column By: Rae Turner

As a starting point, I want to emphasize that "tort reform" is a misnomer designed to put a prettier face on the real objective: limiting the rights of injured Mississippians. To sell this concept, supporters of the plan are concocting two myths that they are seeking, with the help of the media, to spread as truth.

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(02/14/2002 Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal) Guest Column By: Jim Wilkes

While I disagree with your conclusions that reforms are needed, I would instead like to address the statement you make: "Mississippi leads the nation in various measures and by reputation as a state disproportionately friendly to lawsuits alleging malpractice." You do your readers a disservice by perpetuating the myth that Mississippi is a "Mecca" for lawsuits.

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(01/15/2002 Hola! Arkansas) Guest Column By: Brian Reddick

For those families who have exhausted all other options, only a lawsuit will help them find out what really happened to their loved one. Once that decision has been made, what next? How should you choose an attorney? Perhaps the most important factor is experience. Look for an attorney who has handled similar types of cases. Find out whether the attorney is looking for a quick settlement – or whether he or she will fight for the rights of your loved one.

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