Sacramento, CA: Victims of financial elder abuse in California may find it easier to file an elderly financial abuse lawsuit now that Assembly Bill 381 has been passed. The bill gives victims of financial elderly abuse by those who have power of attorney the ability to recover attorney’s fees and costs if they are successful in their lawsuit.
Assembly Bill 381 (AB 381) was signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown on August
14, and was written by Assemblymember Ed Chau (D-Monterey Park). According to a news release from Assemblymember Chau, the law allows
the court to award attorney’s costs and fees to seniors who are financially
abused by people who use their power of attorney in bad faith.
AB 381, California law allowed double damages to senior victims of
misappropriation of their funds, theft or bad faith on the part of someone with
power of attorney. The problem with that was in many cases the cost of the
lawsuit itself was even more than double the amount taken from the senior,
meaning the senior would actually lose money by filing a lawsuit against someone
who had stolen from him or her. The senior was left with the choice of either
letting the perpetrator get away with the crime or incurring even more expenses
by filing a lawsuit.
AB 381 would allow the awarding of attorney’s costs
and fees when the senior is successful in his or her lawsuit, making it more
financially viable for the senior to file a lawsuit.
“Each year in
California, elder and dependent adults are devastated by the loss of property
taken from them through financial scams,” said Assemblymember Chau in his news
release. “This bill makes certain that seniors who are victims of financial
elder abuse will no longer have to worry about the cost of seeking justice.”
Full Article and Source:
California Bill Makes It Easier to File a Financial Elder Abuse Lawsuit