Assemblymember Steck Passes Law Strengthening Rights for Nursing Home and Assisted Living Facility Residents

Assemblyman Phil Steck (D-Colonie) announced that legislation he co-sponsored and helped pass to allow a nursing home patient’s legal representative or estate to sue for injuries has been signed into law (Ch. 502 of 2022). This new law creates more pathways for patients and their families to seek justice in court and hold nursing homes accountable for abuse, neglect or fraud.

“When a family member or a loved one makes the decision to enter a nursing home or assisted living facility, it’s important to know that their rights will be respected and needs will be met,” said Steck. “Unfortunately, our state has an ugly history with elder neglect and abuse. We must ensure residents have the agency to stand up for proper care and treatment, which includes allowing their estate or legal representative to hold bad actors accountable in their place. I helped pass a new law to do just that, and I’ll continue working to ensure these facilities provide the highest quality of care possible.”

This law serves as an amendment to the public health law that was enacted in the wake of a 1975 scandal exposing massive amounts of fraud and abuse in New York nursing homes.[1] The law clarifies that the right to sue extends to the nursing home patient’s legal representative or estate. It also makes it clear that nursing homes do not escape liability if the patient passes away or is unable to initiate a suit on their own, noted Steck.