Wednesday, September 11, 2013

California Bill Makes it Easier to File a Financial Elder Abuse Lawsuit

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.

Prior to 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


Beth said...

Easier to file maybe, but how many families have family members who are stealing and the police say they can't do anything?

Anonymous said...

I agree with Beth. The thief and elder abuser who is a family member first creates Stockholm Syndrome in his or her elderly victims. The elderly victims become completely brainwashed first. They do this in a slow and incremental way. They get power of attorney this way. The other siblings, who can't imagine one of their brothers or sisters being this selfish and criminal because they would never do this to their siblings themselves, don't realize what's happening until it's too late. The thief and elder abuser steals not only the money. They steal the family's unity and love. The intertwining support system is obliterated. And the grandchildren lose their sense of family love too. That is the legacy the thief leaves - family destruction.

Norma said...

It's a good beginning. CA has been making some good headway lately!

Sue said...

California is taking the lead on assisting victims. Retaining an attorney is a struggle any financial help via awarding attorney fees is a major step forward. In addition, that can influence some fiduciaries decision making process ethical vs unethical.