If you are not aware of AB 1062 by
Assemblyman Roger Dickinson, you should be. Mr. Dickinson has a long history in
public service, describes
 as the leading progressive voice in Sacramento County,
and is a former personal injury lawyer. These facts make it unsurprising that
he authored AB 1062, which is sponsored by the Consumer Attorneys of
California (CAOC) and would eliminate arbitration agreements in nursing home

Personal injury lawyers have long been opposed to
arbitration agreements and it is no surprise that they are trying to peel them
away industry by industry. While the California Supreme Court and the
Legislature have typically viewed arbitration as a very desirable alternative
to litigation because if its efficiency and fairness, personal injury lawyers
despise arbitration because it cuts them (and their ludicrously high fees) out
of the process. Nursing homes are one of the prime targets of personal injury lawyers,
and they want the ability to sue.

AB 1062 promotes more costly litigation against long
term care facilities by allowing attorneys to use the threat of astronomical
fee awards if a legal action reaches court. Along with increasing the costs of
running nursing homes, AB 1062 will only lengthen the amount of time it takes
to resolve claims and compensate victims.

Due to the high amount of litigation brought against
nursing home operators under the Elder Abuse Act, California leads the nation
in the number of claims brought annually Additionally, according to a June 2010
actuarial analysis of nursing facility litigation costs by the AON Corporation,
the cost per occupied bed in California is $2,150, compared to the national
average of $1,340. The size of the average award has tripled from $65,000 in
the 1990’s to $195,000 in 2009. California skilled nursing providers are paying
approximately $240 million a year in litigation expenses.

I could go on and on, but the fact of the matter is
that AB 1062 is simply going to make litigation against nursing homes even more
widespread and costly. The $240 million in litigation costs currently paid
by the California skilled nursing providers is money that is not going into the
economy or creating jobs. And the net effect is that it is only going to
increase the costs of senior care for you and me.

Almost every family in the state will have to grapple
with the high costs of senior care at some point, and quite frankly it is only
going to get worse. People need to pay attention and stop AB 1062! Tell
Assemblyman Roger Dickinson to stop taking care of his personal injury lawyer
buddies and start to think about his constituents. We will all pay if AB 1062