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Arizona court: Law allows suits against hospitals

PHOENIX — A new Arizona court decision said lawsuits filed under a state
law to protect vulnerable or incapacitated adults from neglect, abuse and
exploitation can be filed against hospitals.

The state Court of Appeals decision overturns two trial judges’ rulings that
the Adult Protective Services Act doesn’t apply to acute-care hospitals.

Hospital groups argued that the law was intended to apply only to long-term
care facilities, not to hospitals.

The Court of Appeals disagreed, ruling that the law exempts physicians and
certain other specified care providers but not hospitals.

The Court of Appeals decision was handed down on consolidated cases involving
lawsuits filed on behalf of two people.

With this week’s ruling by a three-judge panel, those lawsuits can now proceed
in court.


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