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Q
What is Burt's Law and does it apply to my nursing home abuse case?

A

Burt's Law is a piece of legislation in North Carolina that was signed into law on May 19, 2015 by Governor McCrory. It went into effect December 1, 2015. Burt's Law, also referred to as Senate Bill 445, imposes additional penalties on staff and volunteers of nursing homes and facilities that care for individuals with mental illness or other disabilities.

Burt Powell was the victim of sexual abuse at a nursing home not far from Hickory, North Carolina in the town of Conover. Powell's abuse was inflicted on him by the nursing home manager. The nursing home manager exploited his authority over staff and threatened their jobs if they informed Powell's family of the abuse. At the same time, the manager threatened to hurt Powell's family if he revealed the abuse. The new law is named in Burt Powell's honor and was drafted in efforts to encourage staff and volunteers to come forward and report abuse immediately.

Burt's law applies to staff and volunteers of group and nursing homes in North Carolina. These individuals are now required by law to report any instances of abuse, whether intentional or accidental, to authorities within 24 hours of witnessing abusive acts. Failing to report abuse in this time period results in a misdemeanor charge.

Witness statements, facility documents, and other evidence might help prove if Burt's Law applies to your particular abuse case. Our nursing home abuse attorneys in Raleigh and Cary offer case reviews at no cost to you. Our legal team can explain more about this law and others that apply to the unique circumstances of your incident. All of our consults are confidential and provided wherever is most convenient for you. We can meet you in your home, a hospital, or at one of our five offices: Raleigh, Cary, Fayetteville, Dunn and Clinton.