New Court Decision Presents Challenges to Defending Neglect Cases Under Washington’s Vulnerable Adult Statute
Washington’s Abuse of Vulnerable Adult Statute (“VAS”), RCW 74.34 et seq., was first passed in 1984. It was amended in 1999 and the legislature specifically announced its intent to protect “vulnerable adults.” “Vulnerable adults” include those age 60 and older who are unable to care for themselves due to physical, mental and/or a functional limitation. The VAS is intended as an “additional remedy” to those already available under Washington law, such as a medical malpractice suit. Thus, the VAS creates an independent cause of action for the “abuse,” “neglect,” “abandonment” and/or “financial exploitation” of a “vulnerable adult.” View full article (PDF).