Healthcare providers across the United States continue to grapple with challenges related to providing care to patients suffering from COVID-19, otherwise known as the novel coronavirus. Almost 60% of COVID-19 victims in Maryland are long-term care and nursing home residents. In response to the disproportionately high rate of infection in nursing homes, many states, including Maryland, have asked lawmakers to provide nursing facilities with immunity from lawsuits related to their care during the pandemic. Despite the inherent difficulties many residents and their families face pursuing lawsuits against negligent nursing homes, these facilities continue to push for additional protections against liability.
Even though the spread of disease and illness can become challenging to control, these entities have a responsibility to provide their residents and visitors with a safe environment and appropriate treatment. This includes ensuring that their staff is trained in proper hygiene and safety practices, providing staff and residents with protective gear, quickly diagnosing and identifying patients suffering from infectious diseases, and notifying visitors of any changes in visitation protocol. Despite these steps, outbreaks can still occur, and these facilities must have a plan in place to combat these instances. Infection control protocols include implementing stricter sanitation requirements, changing safety equipment requirements, and isolating high-risk or infected residents. The failure to respond to an outbreak effectively can result in deadly consequences for residents and staff.
Many families are beginning to file lawsuits against these facilities for their response to the COVID-19 outbreak. In response, many Maryland nursing home groups are asking the state to provide immunity based on the governor’s emergency declaration. A few states, including Maryland, protect providers during state and national emergencies. Nursing homes are anticipating that many lawsuits will include claims that the facilities did not have enough personal protective equipment (PPE) to protect their staff and residents. However, many residents and families are claiming that a lack of PPE is only one problem of many, and that clinicians and staff failed to diagnose and treat their loved ones quickly.
Although lawsuits against nursing homes for COVID-19 related injuries and deaths may be challenging, these facilities may still be liable. Victims may be able to recover for their damages if they can prove that the facility failed to prevent infections and outbreaks. In these cases, nursing homes may be liable for a patient’s medical expenses, pain and suffering, loss of consortium, and emotional distress.
Has Your Loved One Suffered Injuries Because of a Negligent Maryland Nursing Home?
If you or someone you know has been exposed to an infectious disease at a Maryland nursing home, you should contact the dedicated injury and medical malpractice attorneys at Lebowitz & Mzhen, Personal Injury lawyers. The attorneys at our law firm understand the devastating toll that COVID-19 is having on our community, and we are working tirelessly on behalf of those who have suffered injuries because of negligent healthcare providers. We have a rich tradition of advocating on behalf of injury victims and recovering significant amounts of compensation for their damages. We are continuing to accept new clients and filing cases during the COVID-19 pandemic. Contact our office at 800-654-1949 to schedule a free initial consultation with an attorney at our firm.