A Kentucky law firm that specializes in nursing home abuse cases is pushing back on nursing home company Extendicare’s claim that the state’s legal environment is causing it to pull back its operation.

Several weeks ago, Extendicare announced its plans to lease its Kentucky properties to an outside company. The company said the decision was due to what they called “a hostile legal environment” where lawyers target the industry in hopes of big settlements.

Attorney Lee Coleman of law firm Hughes and Coleman disagrees. Coleman says Kentucky lawyers do not unfairly target nursing homes for big settlements.

“What we would disagree with and what I specifically disagree with is that Kentucky laws are anything that any nursing home operator should be afraid of,” he says.

Coleman says there are many nursing homes in Kentucky that provide excellent care. But Coleman says lawyers need to protect residents in homes where they receive substandard care or are mistreated.

“What we see there is a lot of good care. And there are a lot of residents that get the care they should get. What we see is that the care can be given, there’s not really a reason outside of cost that nursing homes can’t do the job they’re supposed to do,” Coleman says.

Coleman says Extendicare may be creating more layers between themselves and the court systems by leasing out its properties, something the company already did in Florida. He also praised the General Assembly for not moving forward with changing the state's current nursing home laws.