Last Updated: April 30, 2020] – Nursing homes are expected to provide dependable care for elderly adults who have chronic health problems or are unable to care for themselves. Families rely on trained and experienced staff to keep their loved ones safe. Those who work and operate nursing homes owe their residents a legal duty to ensure their well-being.

There are certain risks that are unique to elderly populations in nursing homes. Residents are typically more vulnerable to serious health conditions. Moreover, the risk of contracting an infectious disease is elevated in a group home environment given the extensive contact among residents and staff. Nursing homes have been especially affected by the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) since cases were first reported two months ago. In New York alone, thousands of nursing homes residents have died after contracting COVID-19.

How Should Nursing Homes Protect Patients from COVID-19?

Notwithstanding the scale of the current COVID-19 pandemic, nursing homes are required to adequately prepare for infectious outbreaks with effective protocols and procedures. Negligence can result from the failure to enact policies to maintain the residents’ safety or provide adequate care to sick patients. Both the federal and state governments have issued policies to combat the rampant spread of the virus. These measures often extend beyond routine handwashing and cleaning. The CDC recommends frequent sanitization of surfaces in long-term facilities to maintain proper infection control. The staff must wear face masks, face shields, gloves, and other protective equipment to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Moreover, once a resident displays symptom of Coronavirus, nursing homes are required to take action to isolate the sick individual. Visitors are not permitted to enter nursing homes to avoid introducing illness into the facility. Federal regulations also mandate that nursing homes implement control programs to identify infections, isolate affected patients, and prevent contact between healthy and sick individuals.

Do I Have a Negligence Claim Against a Nursing Home Due to COVID-19?

Since March 2020, thousands of residents have become ill or died in nursing homes that are understaffed, lack proper equipment and procedures, or have not complied with federal and state regulations designed to combat the spread of COVID-19. While nursing homes may not be able to prevent illness and death under all circumstances, they owe a duty of care to their residents to create a safe environment. If a nursing home acts negligently, it can be held liable for failing to perform its duties in a reasonable manner. Negligence may be found in nursing homes under a variety of circumstances, including those outlined above, or in other cases where the facility has failed to protect or treat residents with COVID-19. Please also visit our related page about abuse and neglect in nursing homes.

Family members may bring lawsuits for wrongful death against nursing homes to seek justice for their loved ones. Levy Konigsberg is prepared to assist clients in pursuing claims associated with the global COVID-19 public health emergency. We are currently accepting negligence claims against nursing homes on behalf of families whose loved ones have died from the failure to provide adequate care and protection to residents.

If your loved one has become ill or died after contracting COVID-19 in a nursing home, it is important that you speak with an experienced law firm that can handle your claim. We are committed to our clients in obtaining compensation for the death of a loved one. For a free consultation with the attorneys at Levy Konigsberg LLP, please call our toll-free hotline at (800) 315-3806 or submit an email inquiry.


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