Attorney Jeffrey Downey presents an educational seminar to Virginia’s Regulatory and Law Enforcement Agencies

On May 11, 2022, Jeffrey Downey had the honor of lecturing at the 10th Annual Training of the Greater August Coalition Against Adult Abuse.

Mr. Downey addressed the differences between the civil and criminal prosecution of elder neglect and abuse.  He also addressed why criminal prosecution of elder abuse cases is rare in most states, including Virginia.  He cited statistics on mandatory reporting which suggest that many healthcare providers who encounter elder neglect or abuse do not engage in the proper reporting.  In addition, local police and prosecutors are not always trained or equipped to take on cases that often involve expert medical testimony. Differences in the burden of proof and challenges dealing with demented residents, who often cannot testify, make criminal prosecution of such cases problematic. Finally, many police and prosecutors, who are not trained healthcare providers, are not in a position to determine whether a bad outcome is related to neglect versus the patient’s underlying medical condition.

Mr. Downey also addressed issues with death certificates and how the cause of death opinion on a death certificate is often inaccurate and may reflect the bias of the reporting physician, who may be affiliated with the defendant facility.

To review Mr. Downey’s complete seminar, click on this link.