There are different causes of action that an individual may be able to bring in a COVID-19 Maryland nursing home case, depending on the circumstances. Causes of action in a Maryland nursing home case can include negligence, wrongful death, battery, false imprisonment and infliction of emotional distress.
Negligence is among the most common causes of action. Generally, in a Maryland negligence claim, a plaintiff must show that a defendant owed the plaintiff a duty, the defendant breached that duty, the plaintiff suffered an injury or loss, and the damages proximately resulted from the defendant’s breach of the duty. In a Maryland nursing home case, a nursing home may be liable for negligence if the home was negligent in caring for the resident, in failing to keep the resident safe, or in another way. For example, failing to segregate a positive COVID-19 resident, to inform other residents, to test symptomatic residents, or to require staff to wear protective gowns and masks might be potential cases of negligence.
Wrongful death claims are another common cause of action in nursing home cases. In the tragic event of the death of a nursing home resident, a nursing home may be liable for the wrongful death of the resident. Wrongful death claims brought under Maryland’s Wrongful Death Act allow claims against a defendant “whose wrongful act causes the death of another.” In COVID-19 cases, these claims would likely be brought for similar reasons as a negligence claim.
Nursing Homes Suffering from High Rates of Death in COVID-19 Pandemic
Although less than one percent of Americans live in nursing homes, they make up over fifteen percent of coronavirus deaths in the U.S. so far, according to one news source. There are around 1.3 million nursing home residents in the U.S. Around 3,600 people have died in nursing homes from COVID-19, the vast majority of which have occurred in recent days. In addition, the numbers actually may be understated, as many nursing home residents die without ever receiving a coronavirus test.
As of mid-April, 18 residents have already died at a nursing home in Carroll County, Maryland. Maryland Governor Larry Hogan is dispatching “strike teams” to nursing homes to administer tests, segregate COVID-19 patients, evaluate additional needs, and provide medical assessment and care. The teams are made up of health officials, doctors, nurses, and members of the National Guard.
Some nursing homes have instructed workers not to wear protective gowns or masks because they worried about alarming patients, and some have failed to report cases to relatives. As the article stated, nursing homes have to be transparent with patients, relatives, and officials, and workers must be required to wear protective gowns and masks. Because of the high number of nursing home residents in the United States, serious measures must be put in place to protect residents.
Call a Maryland Nursing Home Lawyer
If your loved one is in a Maryland nursing home and has contracted COVID-19, contact a Maryland nursing home lawyer today. The nursing home lawyers at Lebowitz & Mzhen, Personal Injury Lawyers, have experience representing victims throughout the Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C. area. Nursing home residents are entitled to proper care, and a nursing home attorney can help you evaluate whether you should pursue a claim. Call us at 1-800-654-1949 or fill out our online form to set up a free consultation.