OKLAHOMA CITY – Oklahoma House of Representatives today approved legislation that would establish Neil’s Law and enact the Oklahoma Elder Exploitation and Abuse Act.
Rep. Collin Duel, R-Guthrie, filed House Bill 2741, establishing a civil cause of action for incapacitated persons and vulnerable adults against those who neglect, exploit, or abuse them.
“Oklahoma’s most vulnerable deserve protection from neglect, abuse and exploitation,” Duel said. “I am proud to go the extra mile to protect the safety and financial well-being of older and vulnerable Oklahomans.”
The measure allows for claims of elder neglect, exploitation, or abuse to be filed in any district court within the county where the act or omission occurs.
HB2741 holds that anyone who is found guilty of committing neglect or financial neglect against a vulnerable adult will be liable for actual damages in an amount that compensates the vulnerable adult for the loss they incurred as a result.
It also holds that anyone found guilty of exploiting or abusing a vulnerable adult will be liable for damages three times the actual damages incurred by the individual. The guilty party will also be responsible for punitive damages in both cases.
HB2741 allows for the district court in which a claim is filed to issue a restraining order or other injunctive relief to prohibit any further violations.
It passed the House 81-0. It now moves to the Senate.
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