Vulnerable Adult Protection
RCW 74.34 is Washington’s statute for the protection of vulnerable adults. In 2010 Washington State received more than 33,500 reports of suspected abuse, neglect, self-neglect and financial exploitation of such adults, usually the elderly. Source: DSHS Fact Sheet- Protection of Vulnerable Adults.
The State often lacks the resources to investigate all these complaints and sometimes family or friends must take legal action to protect an endangered adult. RCW 74.34.110 allows for an “interested person” to petition the court for help. RCW 74.34.200 allows the court to make the abuser pay for damages and costs of suit, including the attorney’s fees.