PersanteZuroweste - Pinellas County Elder Abuse and ExploitationPosted December 23, 2017 in Florida Probate Litigation
With Florida's elderly population, there is serious concern.
Our law firm handles cases for abuse or exploitation of the elderly in Florida. We bring claims against those who have taken advantage of our most vulnerable, and defend litigation brought against those that are wrongly sued for exploitation or breaching a fiduciary duty.
Florida’s legislature, in recognition of the dangerous threat exploitation poses to our vulnerable, elderly population., enacted the Adult Protective Services Act (“the Act”). The Act was designed to protect our vulnerable citizens: “[T]he evil the state seeks to remedy, the abuse, neglect, and exploitation of older and disabled citizens, is recognized by the Florida Legislature as a severe social problem.” O’Dell v. Doychak, 2006 WL 4509634, at *4 (M.D. Fla. 2006) (emphasis added). The legislative intent of the Adult Protective Services Act is expressed in Florida Statutes Section 415.101:
The Legislature recognizes that there are many persons in this state who, because of age or disability, are in need of protective services. Such services should allow such an individual the same rights as other citizens and, at the same time, protect the individual from abuse, neglect, and exploitation. It is the intent of the Legislature to provide for the detection and correction of abuse, neglect, and exploitation through social services and criminal investigations and to establish a program of protective services for all vulnerable adults in need of them. It is intended that the mandatory reporting of such cases will cause the protective services of the state to be brought to bear in an effort to prevent further abuse, neglect, and exploitation of vulnerable adults. In taking this action, the Legislature intends to place the fewest possible restrictions on personal liberty and the exercise of constitutional rights, consistent with due process and protection from abuse, neglect, and exploitation. Further, the Legislature intends to encourage the constructive involvement of families in the care and protection of vulnerable adults.415.101, Fla. Stat.
The public policy behind protecting our elderly is so strong, that Florida has mandatory reporting requirements for suspicion of exploitation: “Any person . . . who knows, or has reasonable cause to suspect, that a vulnerable adult has been or is being abused, neglected, or exploited shall immediately report such knowledge or suspicion to the central abuse hotline.” § 415.1034, Fla. Stat. (emphasis added)
If you believe that you have a claim for exploitation or abuse of the elderly, please give us a call. If you need a lawyer who defends Florida exploitation cases, please do not hesitate to contact us. We can be reached at (727) 796-7666.