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Office Building of Steven D. Davis Law Group, APC.

Standard of care as a defense against nursing home negligence

Nursing homes in California may use one or several defenses in lawsuits alleging negligence. These defenses usually aim to mitigate the nursing homes’ liability.

One common defense is when the nursing home claims it met the standard of care.

Standard of care

Nursing homes may say that they followed the standard of care. This defense asserts that a nursing home’s care was consistent with the prevailing standards (what a reasonably prudent nursing home would do under similar circumstances). By claiming compliance with established protocols and guidelines, the nursing home seeks to refute claims of negligence.


Documentation supports the standard of care defense. Nursing homes may use records documenting the care they provided to residents, including assessments, treatments and interactions. These records serve as evidence that the care met the standard of care in the industry.

Expert testimony

Expert testimony often reinforces the standard of care defense. Health care professionals may provide testimony attesting to the adequacy of the care. Their expertise lends credibility to the assertion that the nursing home’s actions were consistent with accepted practices within the industry.

Continuous improvement

California has about 1,230 licensed long-term care nursing facilities. Nursing homes using a standard of care defense may say they have a commitment to continuous improvement. By claiming a proactive approach to addressing issues and implementing corrective measures, they aim to show that they take resident safety and well-being seriously.

Challenges and considerations

While the standard of care defense can be formidable, it is not without its challenges. Plaintiffs may argue that the care provided fell below the accepted standard or that the nursing home failed to meet the standard due to systemic issues within the facility. Additionally, interpretations of what constitutes the standard of care may vary.

In navigating negligence claims, nursing homes in California often rely on the standard of care defense to protect their interests. Understanding this defense can help residents and their families better seek recourse for substandard care.

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