”Our lives begin to end the day we are silent about things that matter.” Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Elder abuse is a plague on this country and we cannot remain silent about it. Silence protects perpetrators, not their victims. Nor can we rely on systems to fight the problem. Consider the historic elder abuse case of 104-year-old New York philanthropist Brooke Astor. The court-appointed guardian in that case initially found allegations of her abuse “not substantiated.” Nevertheless, her grandson persisted in getting justice for his grandmother. Ultimately, after the district attorney investigated and tried the case against Ms. Astor’s abuser (her son), a jury found defendant guilty of 14 of the 15 counts of elder abuse against him. Elder justice was served, but not without a fight.
The San Francisco and California elder abuse attorneys at Evans Law Firm, Inc. fight for seniors and elder justice in California every day. Our attorneys represent victims of financial and physical elder abuse whether at the hands of strangers, caregivers, trustees, conservators, financial advisors, or insurance agents selling inappropriate products like annuities or life insurance for a commission. If you or a loved one has been the victim of elder abuse in San Francisco or elsewhere in California, call our elder abuse lawyers today at (415)441-8669.
Brooke Astor’s suffering threw a national spotlight on the tragedy of elder abuse. It also triggered a national conversation about what “justice” means for injured seniors. The concept of “elder justice” became law in 2010 when President Obama signed the Elder Justice Act as part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The law defined elder justice this way:
(6) ELDER JUSTICE – The term `elder justice’ means —
(A) from a societal perspective, efforts to —
(i) prevent, detect, treat, intervene in, and prosecute elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation; and
(ii) protect elders with diminished capacity while maximizing their autonomy; and
(B) from an individual perspective, the recognition of an elder’s rights, including the right to be free of abuse, neglect, and exploitation.
42 U.S. Code § 1397j et seq.
Today America remembers Dr. King’s lifelong fight for justice for all Americans. This includes older Americans, who should be valued, protected, and empowered before abuse occurs, not just after. If you have a senior loved one or neighbor, help them all you can and save them from the danger of isolation. If you suspect abuse, do something about it by contacting law enforcement (Adult Protective Services and the police) and reach out to counsel to pursue the wrongdoers. Support legislation and candidates who will truly tackle the problem of elder abuse and not just pay lip service to it. Live up to the legacy of Dr. King for all Americans, including the elderly.
“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.” Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., “Letter From A Birmingham Jail,” April 16, 1963.
If you or someone you love is the victim of any type of elder abuse including financial elder abuse by a caregiver, trustee, insurance agent, broker, financial advisor or other party, call Ingrid M. Evans and the other San Francisco and California elder abuse attorneys at Evans Law Firm, Inc. at (415) 441-8669, or by email at <a href=”mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org”>email@example.com</a>. Our attorneys have experience with securities, annuity, and other investment fraud, financial elder abuse cases and complex qui tam or whistleblower cases including offshore tax avoidance cases, complex financial contract cases and cases against large insurance companies. We can help guide your case through a jury trial or toward an equitable settlement. We also handle cases involving physical elder abuse, nursing home abuse, whole life insurance and universal life insurance, and indexed, variable, and fixed annuities.