Are Nursing Homes Using COVID to Protect from Neglect Claims?

While the COVID-19 pandemic has undoubtedly touched the lives of just about everyone across the planet in some form, nursing home residents arguably have been hit the hardest.  If we’ve learned anything from this virus, the people that are most susceptible to the worst of outcomes are those who are immunocompromised and older. 

Unfortunately, this means our loved ones in nursing homes remain at great risk.  Although the risk is great, nursing homes still have a duty to provide our loved ones with protection, safety, and care.  Sadly, many nursing home residents are not receiving the care they require, and facilities are blaming COVID-19 for their nursing home neglect.  Does the law permit these facilities to provide sub-standard care because of COVID-19?  Are nursing homes using COVID-19 to protect them from neglect claims?

If you feel your loved one has suffered or is suffering from neglect or abuse in a nursing home in Ohio, West Virginia, or Pennsylvania, contact our office today at (304) 845-9750, by Live Chat, or by completing our online form.  Our experienced nursing home abuse and neglect lawyers can discuss your situation at no cost to you and determine if your loved one has a case.

Liability Protections for Medical Providers and Facilities

The COVID-19 pandemic has been unprecedented in our time in scope and effect.  Few would argue that sometimes aggressive measures were needed to fight the pandemic and for many types of business to survive.  Liability protections for medical providers and medical facilities have been a hot button topic throughout the pandemic as States across the nation, including West Virginia and Ohio, have enacted laws limiting the ability of individuals to sue medical professionals and medical facilities related to the COVID-19 pandemic, including nursing homes. 

One might understand and justify this on certain levels.  The rapid and immense spread of the virus, the uncertainty as to the scope of the symptoms, and the time frame during which individuals are contagious symptomatically or asymptomatically were all reasons to consider potential limitations for lawsuits related to the actual acquisition of COVID-19 and the effects of that diagnosis. However, what is the proper scope of those limitations? 

Nursing Home Neglect Covid Patient

Should those types of limitations expand beyond issues directly connected to a COVID-19 diagnosis, such as nursing home abuse and neglect? 

Should injured individuals and/or aggrieved families still be allowed to sue when COVID-19 was not the direct cause of an injury or death while in a nursing home? 

At GKT, our experienced nursing home abuse and neglect lawyers understand these challenges and can help you and your family seek accountability and justice if your loved one suffered an injury or worse due to nursing home abuse or neglect.

Nursing Home Injuries and Death Cases

Forms of the COVID-19 immunity statutes throughout the nation have been written so broadly to allow many different types of recognizable injury and death claims to be barred.  Nursing home related cases are at the forefront of these types of issues.  Adequate staffing and budgeting are profoundly necessary to the quality of care received by nursing home residents. Nursing homes are frequently accused of putting profits ahead of people when making those types of decisions.  This has been an issue for nursing homes well before COVID-19 existed and remains an issue for our loved ones today.  However, you can bet that nursing homes are certain to try and shield their age-old decision-making problem with under the cover COVID-19 liability protections. 

For example, nursing homes are likely to argue that staffing may have been compromised due to COVID-19 outbreaks in the community.  Under the West Virginia statute, providers are likely to argue that this is an example of COVID-19 “impacted care.”  Without adequate staffing, the nursing homes were not able to help your mother, father, or grandparents move around.  Without moving around and repositioning, many of those individuals might develop pressure ulcers. Without adequate staff, the identification and treatment of those issues might be delayed. 

In our example, theses pressure ulcers can rapidly expand and develop into infections and potentially life-threatening sepsis.  These are the exact type of care issues that our loved ones and communities rely on nursing homes for.  Should a nursing home be able to shield itself from liability for injuries caused to your loved one even when that loved one did not have COVID-19? Don’t let facilities use “COVID” nursing home neglect as an excuse when the neglect suffered may have nothing to do with COVID. 

Our experienced nursing home abuse and neglect attorneys are familiar with how nursing homes operate, and we can help you and your family. 

COVID Liability Limitations

There are potential ways to attack these liability protections.  Some states have limited the time periods during which the COVID-19 liability limitations apply.  Others have created exceptions to the types of conduct shielded under the limitations.  Even in those situations, laws have further limited the statute of limitations that might apply to such exceptions.  At the end of the day, some nursing home abuse and neglect cases just may require aggressive advocacy to demonstrate that the limitations should not logically or factually be extended in such unfair circumstances. 

Our attorneys can help you.  What is certain at this time is that nursing homes will surely rely on COVID-19 liability protections to limit or totally deny any responsibility for nursing home injury and death claims even when the injured or deceased person did not have COVID-19.

Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Lawyers

If you or a loved one have been impacted by inadequate and inappropriate care in a nursing home, give us a call at (304) 845-9750 to discuss what options might exist.  Our nursing home abuse and neglect attorneys understand the challenges and defenses that nursing homes may try and use to justify providing sub-standard care to your loved ones.  Our lawyers can demand accountability, seek justice, and find out what went wrong and hold those responsible for the harm caused to your loved one.  Contact us for a free review of your case.  We can be reached 24 hours a day by phone or text at (304) 845-9750, by Live Chat on our website, or by completing our no obligation online form

Jeremy McGraw

Jeremy McGraw

Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer

Jeremy McGraw is a personal injury and nursing home abuse lawyer at Gold, Khourey & Turak.  He represents people in all types of personal injury claims – from nursing home abuse and car accidents to workplace and oil and gas injuries—what separates him from the vast majority of personal injury lawyers is his focus on nursing home abuse and neglect cases.