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Who Is Required to Report Elder Abuse in Louisiana?

Who Is Required to Report Elder Abuse in Louisiana?

Posted on July 31, 2016

By Daryl Gray

Elder abuse is prevalent across the country, and Louisiana is no exception. The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals reports that over 7,300 adult abuse cases are reported annually and that the far majority of elder abuse goes undetected or unreported. Louisiana makes it a crime to fail to report elder abuse, neglect, or exploitation. Although the law specifically names “health, mental health, and social service practitioner[s]” as having a duty to report, mandatory reporting actually applies to “[a]ny person.” Because of the broad requirements of the law, we all have a legal duty to report when all of the following circumstances are met:

  • We have “cause to believe”
  • That an “adult’s physical or mental health or welfare”
  • “[H]as been or may be further adversely affected”
  • “[B]y abuse, neglect, or exploitation.”

Elder abuse is defined broadly under Louisiana law. It includes abandonment, exploitation, extortion of things of value, isolation, and sexual abuse. To read more about how to recognize elder abuse, please see our earlier blog here.The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals reports that the most commonly reported form of elder abuse is self-neglect, the inability of a person to properly take care of himself in a way that might threaten his health or safety.To encourage reporting, theLouisiana State Legislature has passed a law forbidding lawsuits against people who do the following things in good faith:

Report elder abuse;

Cooperate in adult protection investigations; and

“Participate in judicial proceedings” related to elder abuse.

Adult protective services caseworkers also cannot be sued (they receive statutory immunity) when they carry out their jobs in good faith. People who are involved in elder abuse or neglect, not surprisingly, do not receive immunity from lawsuits after they make a report and may be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.Abuse of the elderly is intolerable. If you are struggling with whether to bring a lawsuit for elder abuse, neglect, or exploitation,Gray Law Group, LLC can help. We are experienced in bringing lawsuits against elder caregivers in Louisiana, and we will help guide you to a favorable resolution of your case. To schedule a free evaluation of your case, contact our experienced personal injury attorneys today at (504) 264-5552.

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