Maryland’s confirmed COVID-19 cases among residents in Maryland nursing homes and assisted-living facilities have continued to rise over the past weeks. As of May 16, 2020, there are now 5,329 confirmed resident cases and 984 confirmed resident deaths in the state. As cases grow, stories of neglect and substandard care in facilities have also continued.
In one nursing home in northern New Jersey, at least 53 residents have died from COVID-19. According to one news source, the nursing home, Andover Subacute and Rehabilitation Center II, had one of the largest outbreaks in the state, one of the hardest hit in the nation. Federal and state inspectors began investigating the 543-bed facility after police found 17 bodies piled in a morgue after receiving an anonymous tip that a corpse was stored in a shed. A federal inspection report was released detailing the state of the nursing home, which shows how the pandemic has overtaken nursing homes across the United States. The report’s findings include that one patient was found dead in bed after suffering from a high fever for days—after staff failed to notify a doctor of the patient’s fever. In addition, sick residents who were tested for coronavirus and waiting for the results were not quarantined away from healthy residents. Also, thermometers that employees used to take their temperatures at the beginning of each shift did not work. The report found that the nursing home put its residents in “immediate jeopardy” and the facility was fined $220,000.
The National Guard was called after the facility failed to adequately staff and protect staff and residents. The National Guard members were called in to clean and disinfect the facility. Residents had complained that clothing and bed sheets had not been washed. The facility is temporarily barred from accepting new patients and the facility will continue to accrue penalties until it addresses the issues in the report.
Nursing homes throughout the country must follow federal regulatory requirements because they accept Medicare and Medicaid patients. The U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services issued guidance related to COVID-19 in March. Nursing homes could be at fault for failing to have proper policies and procedures in place and if they failed to follow federal regulations. A facility may have acted improperly by failing to quarantine sick residents, or by failing to call a doctor or follow infection controls. COVID-19 nursing home patients may be able to bring a claim against a facility for negligence, wrongful death, or other causes of action.
Call a Maryland Personal Injury Lawyer
At Lebowitz & Mzhen, Personal Injury Lawyers, our compassionate attorneys take pride in advocating for the rights of victims against negligent Maryland nursing homes, incompetent health care providers, careless drivers, and other defendants, as well as their insurers. We treat every client with the personal attention that they deserve, taking the time to understand their situation and tailor a plan to meet their individual needs. Our attorneys will guide you through each step of the legal process. To set up a free consultation call Lebowitz & Mzhen at (800) 654-1949 or contact them online.