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State law conceals nursing home abuse, neglect records

Tort reform puts vulnerable residents at risk, critics say

6:54 AM, Feb. 18, 2013
A Wisconsin tort reform law passed two years ago made state inspection reports of nursing homes and other health care facilities inadmissible as evidence in civil and criminal cases. Proponents of the law say it lets providers discuss problems more openly, but critics argue it puts the elderly and vulnerable at risk. This woman, whose family asked that she not be identified, was a resident at a Sauk City nursing home.
A Wisconsin tort reform law passed two years ago made state inspection reports of nursing homes and other health care facilities inadmissible as evidence in civil and criminal cases. Proponents of the law say it lets providers discuss problems more openly, but critics argue it puts the elderly and vulnerable at risk. This woman, whose family asked that she not be identified, was a resident at a Sauk City nursing home.
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Joshua Wahl's life had never been easy. But he was happy, his mother said.

Wahl has spina bifida, is brain damaged and paralyzed from the chest down. At age 32, he lived at a group home in Menomonie, where he loved coloring and going on picnics, said his mother, Karen Nichols-Palmerton.

In October 2011, Wahl was rushed to a hospital for treatment of a bedsore so severe that doctors feared he would be permanently bedridden. ...

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