Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Lawyer, San Francisco Bay Area

We are dedicated to safeguarding the dignity and rights of our most vulnerable neighbors. At Susan Kang Gordon, A Professional Law Corporation, our nursing home abuse lawyer offers robust and compassionate legal advocacy for victims and their families.
Get a Free Consultation
Icon google
2021 Trial Lawyer of the Year
Ventura County Trial Lawyers Association
2022 Trial Lawyer of the Year
San Francisco County TrialLawyers Association

Providing Legal Representation for Victims of Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect

At Susan Kang Gordon, A Professional Law Corporation, we know the deep anguish and sense of betrayal you feel after you discover a loved one's mistreatment. Our team is committed to holding those responsible accountable so that justice is served.

We approach our cases with both assertiveness and empathy, challenging the institutions that permit such abuses while providing a compassionate, supportive environment for our clients.

We firmly believe that every individual, especially in their later years, deserves to be treated with dignity and respect. As experienced nursing home abuse legal professionals, we are ready to construct a compelling case on behalf of mistreated nursing home residents.

Susan Kang Gordon, A Professional Law Corporation boasts a distinguished track record of success, having secured significant verdicts for victims, including a notable $13.5 million verdict in 2021. Our firm was honored by being listed among the Top 20 Verdicts in California for that year.
$13.5 Million
Jury Verdict 2021
$6 Million
Jury Verdict 2021
Over $40 Million
Recovered for Families
Learn More About Us

Prevalence of Elder Abuse in California's Nursing Homes

With the increasing number of Californians aged 65 and older who reside in nursing homes, concerns about elder abuse are also rising.

The data is unsettling:

  • In 2009, a staggering 13% of grievances reported to the California Long-Term Care Ombudsman concerned instances of abuse or severe neglect, significantly surpassing the national average of 5%.
  • Government research indicates that 1 out of every 10 elderly Americans experiences some form of mistreatment, with nursing homes emerging as a prime location for such incidents.
  • Findings from a national survey revealed that 40% of nursing home personnel admitted to engaging in emotional or psychological abuse, including acts of belittlement, humiliation, and social isolation.
  • In 2023, nursing homes in the U.S. received 7,654 citations due to resident abuse, neglect, or exploitation.
  • Researchers estimate that only 1 in 24 cases of elder abuse are brought to the attention of authorities.

These statistics are startling, and it is undeniable that elderly Californians are at risk.

Causes of Abuse in Nursing Homes

Widespread inadequacies in personnel management plague many nursing homes and are frequently cited as a primary factor in abuse. 

Staffing shortages are a significant issue, with over 90% of nursing homes across the country being understaffed, a problem that the government aims to address with new staffing minimums for facilities that take Medicare and Medicaid.

The staffing shortage has cascading effects on the quality of life for nursing home residents. Due to the lack of nurses and aides, many facilities employ caregivers who lack proper training. These inexperienced workers might fail to recognize common resident issues like dehydration or bedsores. 

Stress and exhaustion among staff may worsen care quality, as long hours and unreasonable workloads contribute to burnout and reduced attentiveness.

Resident-on-resident abuse is a growing concern due to poor patient management in some facilities. Finally, environmental factors that include high turnover rates, limited resources, and insufficient family and community involvement may create an environment conducive to abuse.

Types of Nursing Home Abuse in the San Francisco Bay Area

Nursing home abuse is not limited to assault or neglect; many types of maltreatment can endanger the welfare of elderly residents. 

Physical Abuse

Some caregivers use force that may result in bodily harm or injury to residents. Examples include striking, shoving, slapping, pinching, kicking, burning, or the improper application of physical restraints.

Sexual Abuse

Sexual abuse includes any form of nonconsensual sexual activity or contact with the resident, including rape, unwelcome touching, coerced nudity, sexual assault, or the unauthorized capture of sexually explicit images.

Psychological and Emotional Abuse

Sadly, many nursing home workers inflict emotional distress or anguish through language or nonverbal actions. Examples include insults, verbal attacks, threats, humiliation, intimidation, harassment, social isolation, or patronizing treatment.

Financial Abuse

Financial exploitation occurs when someone unlawfully manipulates or misuses the resident's financial assets for personal gain. This can involve the theft of funds or valuables, unauthorized access to bank accounts, alteration of legal documents, or deceptive tactics to obtain money or property.

No matter the kind of abuse your loved one has suffered, our team is standing by to help.

Our Experienced Legal Team Is Ready to Fight for Your Rights

If you suspect your loved one is a victim of nursing home abuse, do not hesitate to contact our seasoned nursing home abuse attorney.

Nursing Home Abuse Signs

Many victims of nursing home abuse have physical or cognitive limitations that prevent them from speaking about what they are experiencing. For this reason, family members should remain proactive in overseeing their loved one's health and safety.

If your loved one resides in a nursing home, you can help safeguard them by looking for these signs of abuse:

  • Physical indicators such as bruises, pressure marks, broken bones, or burns.
  • Emotional cues, like a sense of fear during interactions with caregivers, sudden withdrawal from activities, or uncharacteristic depression.
  • Tensions or strained relationships with caregivers.
  • Signs of medical neglect, include poor hygiene, bedsores, significant weight loss, or complications like pneumonia and aspiration pneumonia.
  • Instances of wandering, elopement, and other dangerous situations indicate poor supervision.
  • The absence of essential medical items such as eyeglasses, walkers, or medications, along with instances of serious medication errors.
  • Feelings of isolation and a lack of apparent attention from caretakers.

If possible, visit your loved one often in their nursing home and keep in frequent communication with the staff and management. If something seems off, trust your instincts and don’t hesitate to question whether elder abuse may be happening.

Is It Possible to Sue the Nursing Home for Neglect and Abuse?

California laws protect the rights of nursing home residents to receive appropriate care and consideration. A nursing home that does not follow these standards can face legal consequences. If you or someone close to you has endured serious maltreatment, you may have the right to file a lawsuit.

Who Is Responsible for Nursing Home Abuse?

Nursing home abuse can involve various parties, including caretakers, nurses, aides, and even other residents.

However, nursing homes and long-term care facilities typically bear the most significant duty of care toward residents, given their crucial role in residents’ daily lives. Since these facilities are tasked with providing essential services like food, shelter, and healthcare, they may be held accountable for any harm that befalls residents.

A nursing home may be held liable for these practices:

  • Negligent staff training and hiring
  • Intentional abuse by staff
  • Failure to discipline negligent staff
  • Inadequate protection of residents

In some cases, third parties like equipment manufacturers or food suppliers may also share liability.

What Is the Statute of Limitations for Nursing Home Abuse?

Most nursing home abuse cases fall under personal injury law. California statutes regarding personal injury claims give residents a window of two years from the discovery of the injury to initiate legal proceedings.

However, exceptions apply. For cases involving medical malpractice, the time limit is reduced to one year, while actions against public entities must be filed within six months. If you miss these deadlines, you could lose the opportunity to pursue compensation.

In certain scenarios, such as when a resident was unable to report abuse out of fear, the court may consider extending the statute of limitations. A seasoned nursing home abuse lawyer can help you understand the relevant deadlines and procedures.

Available Damages in Nursing Home Abuse Cases in California

Personal injury claims grant plaintiffs access to compensatory damages, which are divided into two categories: general and special.

Depending on the specifics of the case, general compensatory damages could include:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • Disfigurement
  • Loss of consortium
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Physical impairment

Special compensatory damages are typically easier to calculate compared to general compensatory damages. They may include the following:

  • Medical bills
  • Lost income
  • Property damage

Cases involving nursing home abuse victims do not usually involve large amounts of lost income. However, medical expenses resulting from the abuse can be substantial.

Additionally, some nursing home abuse cases may lead to punitive damages. These are rarely awarded, but they serve to penalize the defendant and deter similar misconduct when the abuse is particularly appalling.

Reporting Abuse in Nursing Homes in the San Francisco Bay Area

Combating nursing home abuse involves a multistep approach aimed at ensuring the safety and well-being of vulnerable residents:

  • Identify abuse: Learn to recognize signs of mistreatment, such as unexplained injuries or sudden behavioral changes.
  • Gather evidence: Document suspected abuse incidents with detailed records and photographs.
  • Voice concerns: Address worries directly with nursing home management or seek support from a nursing home ombudsman.
  • Report to authorities: If concerns are not addressed, report the abuse to law enforcement or adult protective services promptly.
  • Seek legal advice: Consult a nursing home abuse attorney to understand your legal options and rights.

If an attorney believes you have a strong case against an abusive nursing home, they may take your case and begin the following steps:

  • Investigate the nursing home: Collect evidence through subpoenas and document requests to strengthen the case.
  • Conduct depositions: Collect witness testimonies under oath to gather insights and evidence.
  • Call on experts: Connect with expert witnesses who can provide specialized insights and opinions during the legal process.
  • Participate in mediation: Attempt to negotiate a settlement with the involved parties.

If the other party won’t agree to a fair settlement, your lawyer may advance the case to trial. During the trial, they will present evidence and seek a favorable verdict from a judge or jury.

Why Choose Susan Kang Gordon as Your Nursing Home Abuse Legal Advocate?

When it comes to seeking justice for nursing home abuse, Susan Kang Gordon stands out as a formidable advocate. Her impressive track record includes a case recognized among the Top 20 Verdicts in California in 2021. She has been honored as the Trial Lawyer of the Year 2022 by the San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association and the Trial Lawyer of the Year 2021 by the Ventura County Trial Lawyers Association.

In contrast to attorneys who have broader practice areas, Gordon and her team focus on nursing home abuse cases. This focus allows her to delve deeper into each case and provide a level of knowledge that general practice attorneys cannot. She understands that nursing home abuse cases often stem from systemic issues such as corporate greed and understaffing, and she is committed to holding responsible parties accountable.

Gordon’s dedication to her clients is unparalleled. She fights tirelessly for justice, treating each case as if it were her own family member who had been wronged. When you choose Susan Kang Gordon as your nursing home abuse attorney, you're not just getting a lawyer; you're getting a passionate advocate who will stand by your side every step of the way.

Our Recent Cases

$13.5 Million Verdict

10 elderly residents sued a nursing home for the neglect and abuse suffered at the hands of the operators. They alleged the failure to provide proper care for fall prevention, wounds, nutrition and hydration and medication management.

$6 Million Fee Award

For the cases which go to trial, we will always seek attorney’s fees directly from the defendant so that you do not have to pay us any fees from your award. In other words, we ask the Court to order the defendants to pay us our hourly fees. Fee awards are not granted for cases that result in a private settlement.


Confidential Settlement - resident is found dead in a bathtub. - $1,675,000.


Confidential Settlement - fall in residential care facility. - $1,500,000.


Confidential Settlement - fall in residential care facility - $975,000.


Confidential Settlement - A physical therapist's failure to transfer body properly results in hairline fracture to the leg - $800,000.



Susan did an amazing job representing our family in a complex and emotionally challenging legal matter. Susan was in it for the long haul, becoming both a trusted advisor and a voice of compassion throughout the process. Susan and her team always brought professionalism, empathy, dedication and skill to our case. She achieved a very positive outcome for us, and we couldn't have been happier with her representation. I would absolutely recommend her and SKG Law.

Tom Smith, Lafayette

Susan was great. She really cares and it shows. We won our case. We really appreciate Susan standing up for the little people.

Brent Baisch, Brentwood
View All Testimonials

Don't Wait Any Longer — Let's Fight for Justice and Make a Difference

With dedicated legal support from Susan Kang Gordon, A Professional Law Corporation, you can take a stand against mistreatment and pursue justice. Fill out our online form for a free consultation.
Physical Address
2 Theatre Square, Suite 217, Orinda, CA 94563
(510) 400-6146
(510) 400-6148
Mailing Address
21C Orinda Way #162 Orinda, CA 94563
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.