State is liable for abuse of elderly Vermonters, new lawsuit claims

The state of Vermont has failed to adequately investigate hundreds of alleged cases of elder abuse, according to a law suit filed this morning by Vermont Legal Aid.

The suit, which has backing from a former human services secretary as well as a number of disability-rights organizations, says the state’s failure to follow statutory mandates has resulted in the abuse of vulnerable adults.

Vermont Legal Aid said it filed the suit only after concluding that negotiations with the Division of Adult Protective Services would not rectify the shortcomings without some kind of formal intervention.

“It is unfortunate that we have come to this point, but it is painfully clear that APS is not protecting our most desperate elders and we must now look to the court to remedy this ongoing failure,” said Jim Leddy, a former state senator and state president of AARP.