Office of the Attorney General News Release Archive


Wednesday, January 26, 2000

CRACKDOWN ON THE ABUSE AND NEGLECT OF ELDERLY LEADS TO RECORD CIVIL PENALTY COLLECTIONS BY ATTORNEY GENERAL'S OFFICE

Cornyn collects nearly 2 million dollars in 1999 nursing home and assisted living facility cases

AUSTIN - Texas Attorney General John Cornyn today announced a record number of civil penalties collections by his Elder Law and Public Health Division in 1999. Last year, $1,659,406.63 was collected in penalties assessed towards nursing home and assisted living facilities where violations occurred. That number is more than three and half times more than collected the previous year. Penalties collected in 1998 totaled $449,645.

"I have always said that protecting those who can't protect themselves is a top priority,"Cornyn said. "These numbers send a clear message that if you abuse and neglect the elderly, you will be held accountable. I commend my Elder Law and Public Health Division for their hard work," Cornyn added.

The Attorney General's Office assesses civil penalties against facilities where the health and safety of residents has been threatened. The Texas Department of Human Services refers cases to the Attorney General's Elder Law and Public Health Division for review and possible legal action.

In 1999, the Attorney General's office filed 42 lawsuits against 53 facilities in Texas. Of the 42 lawsuits filed, 9 have been settled, 2 are set for trial and 24 are pending. 7 cases have been abated, transferred, or administratively closed.

The Attorney General's Elder Law and Public Health Division is comprised of 10 attorneys and is headed by Paul Carmona.

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Contact Mark Heckmann, Heather Browne, or Tom Kelley at (512) 463-2050