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AZ Supreme Court: Hospitals are subject to laws protecting vulnerable adults

Arizona Capitol Times, July 8, 2014

Saying the elderly can be abused anywhere, the Arizona Supreme Court ruled June 30 that hospitals can be sued under special laws designed to protect vulnerable adults. In a unanimous decision, the justices rejected arguments by attorneys for hospitals that the law was always intended solely to cover only things like nursing homes and similar facilities. Chief Justice Rebecca White Berch said there is nothing in the wording of the statute to support that claim. More to the point, Berch said that adopting the view of the hospitals "would thwart the Legislature's goal of protecting vulnerable adults" in adopting the Adult Protective Services Act in 1989.