New York Coronavirus (COVID-19) Nursing Home Lawsuit Lawyers
HOW TO RECOVER FULL COMPENSATION FOR CONTRACTING CORONAVIRUS AT A NURSING HOME – REVIEWING CLAIMS FOR BOTH RESIDENTS & EMPLOYEES.
The novel coronavirus, which causes the disease known as COVID-19, has ravaged New York more so than any other location in the United States, with a significant number of COVID-19 cases spreading in nursing homes (including assisted-living facilities, rehabilitation facilities, and other long-term care facilities). COVID-19 is one of many coronaviruses that have become known to the scientific and medical communities. The novel coronavirus is thought to have spread from an animal to a human, and such spread may have originated in a market in Wuhan, China. The effects of COVID-19 have been catastrophic for so many nursing home patients, as many of them are categorized as high-risk individuals.
The spread of infections within New York nursing homes is nothing new, but the highly contagious nature of COVID-19 has proven just how horrific the problem has become in nursing homes, which have not done enough to protect both employees on the front line as well as vulnerable patients. While some patients infected with COVID-19 experienced no symptoms at all, numerous nursing home patients and nursing home employees experienced severe flu-like symptoms and difficulty breathing. Unfortunately, a significant number of nursing home patients in New York have died from COVID-19.
Are You Entitled to Compensation for Contracting COVID-19 in a New York Nursing Home?
New York healthcare workers have placed themselves at risk for the benefit of others, and many of these healthcare workers have suffered the effects of COVID-19 alongside patients. Both employees and patients who were infected with COVID-19 nursing homes are often subjected to conditions that allow contagious diseases like COVID-19 to spread rapidly. With proper measures in place, nursing homes could have prevented the explosion of cases. If you are a nursing home patient, a loved one of a nursing home patient who died from COVID-19, or a nursing home employee who contracted COVID-19, you may be entitled to compensation. Both patients and healthcare workers deserve to be in a sterile environment where nursing homes provide the necessary tools and support to stop the spread of diseases like COVID-19. Because of numerous failures, nursing home patients and employees have paid the price.
The New York Coronavirus (COVID-19) Nursing Home Lawsuit Lawyers of Parker Waichman LLP
At Parker Waichman LLP, our New York Nursing Home Lawsuit Lawyers have extensive experience handling nursing home cases involving acts of negligence that result in injuries and death to so many patients and employees. The legal team of Parker Waichman LLP is standing by to help victims of COVID-19 that became ill from a New York nursing home. To find out whether you may qualify to receive compensation, contact Parker Waichman LLP today by calling 1-800-YOURLAWYER (1-800-968-7529)
COVID-19 and New York Nursing Homes – How the Virus Spreads So Quickly
Nursing homes, along with other long-term care facilities such as assisted-living facilities and rehabilitation facilities, are home to individuals who need long-term medical care and/or assistance. Most nursing home patients and employees interact with one another regularly, increasing the chances that infection can spread from one person to the next. Like many other illnesses, the coronavirus spreads from droplets projected into the air from a cough or sneeze (or even from talking or laughing). Just like the flu, if a person inhales the droplets or touches something that is contaminated with the droplets, he or she can contract the coronavirus.
In nursing homes, many patients have chronic and underlying illnesses that make them susceptible to becoming sick with a virus. Once a single case of COVID-19 entered nursing homes in New York, it was only a matter of time before thousands more became ill across the state, with many of these individuals dying – including both patients and employees. Without mitigation strategies, such as isolation, sterilization of areas where patients with COVID-19 have been, widespread testing of all patients and employees, and prevention of visitors from entering nursing homes, among others, the coronavirus had nothing to stop it from infecting so many people. Without anywhere to go, patients and employees are stuck in one location with a very deadly virus. Additionally, because it can take up to two weeks for a person to experience symptoms of COVID-19, many people with the infection may have been coming in and out of nursing homes undetected, placing patients and employees at risk
The CMS COVID-19 Guidance for Nursing Homes and Other Long-Term Care Facilities
All nursing homes and long-term care facilities have a duty of care not only to patients, but also to employees. Moreover, nursing homes and long-term care facilities must follow state and federal regulations, which dictate how such facilities are to act in certain circumstances, such as when the country is hit with a pandemic. The United States Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently issued guidance on how nursing homes should address COVID-19 to minimize the spread of the disease. The Guidance for Infection Control and Prevention of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Nursing Homes has implemented new standards to help nursing homes get a handle on the COVID-19 outbreaks within their facilities.
The new CMS guidance provides new rules for nursing homes, long-term care facilities, and other similar rehabilitation facilities. A few examples of new and enhanced guidelines from CMS include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Restriction of Visitors – According to the new CMS guidance, nursing homes and other long-term facilities should “restrict visitation of all visitors and non-essential health care personnel, except for certain compassionate care situations, such as an end-of-life situation.” The guidance also indicates that states may impose even stricter measures than the new CDC guidance, and in such cases, facilities would not be out of compliance with the CDC guidance by following a state’s stricter guidelines.
- Cancellation of Communal Dining and All Group Activities – The coronavirus easily spreads when people are in large groups and are likely to not only be in close contact with one another but also are likely to touch objects that may be contaminated. As such, nursing homes and other long-term facilities must stop ALL activities where people are in groups. Patients should be isolated and eating alone in their rooms. Likewise, employees should avoid being in large groups within the facilities.
- Adhere to the CDC Social Distancing Guidelines – Even when patients and/or employees are not in large groups, they should always practice social distancing, staying at least six (6) feet away from other people.
- Frequent Screening – Because COVID-19 may or may not reveal symptoms, and because a person can become infected with the coronavirus at any time, all patients and employees should be screened for fever and respiratory symptoms. Additionally, all employees must be screened at the beginning of each shift for fever and respiratory symptoms by actively taking employees’ temperatures and documenting the absence of COVID-19 symptoms (such as shortness of breath, cough, and sore throat).
- Identify Staff That Work at Multiple Facilities – Employees who work at more than one healthcare facility – whether such facility is a nursing home, hospital, doctor’s office, or other facilities – must be identified as those employees may pose a greater risk of spreading the coronavirus.
- Advise Visitors to Monitor for COVID-19 Symptoms After Leaving the Facility – All visitors who have been in a nursing home or other long-term care facility should be instructed to monitor for COVID-19 symptoms for at least 14 days after leaving the facility.
Nursing homes and other long-term care facilities must continue adherence to other state and federal regulations they are already subject to. Failure to adhere to any CDC regulation – whether such regulation relates to COVID-19 – can be grounds for legal action, especially if such failures lead to injury or illness, and in some cases, death, of patients and employees.
New York Nursing Home Negligence Has Contributed to the Increase in COVID-19 Cases
Despite the coronavirus sweeping the world by storm, nursing homes in New York have a history of failing to adequately care for patients as well as their employees, often providing employees with insufficient equipment, training, and resources to provide patients with the care they need and deserve. The coronavirus pandemic has only made it that much more difficult for patients and employees to be in a safe and sterile environment. While a pandemic was unexpected and certainly has placed a strain on the healthcare system in New York, nursing homes and other long-term care facilities have failed to not only adhere to CDC guidelines, but also have failed to meet even a basic standard of care resulting in thousands of deaths across the state
New York nursing homes and long-term care facilities that fail to fulfill their duty of care to patients and employees can be found liable for their conduct under New York law. Patients and employees who have become ill because of negligent conduct could pursue legal action and seek compensation for their pain and suffering, medical expenses, lost wages, and even punitive damages if the conduct was egregious and unconscionable. Patients and employees deserve to be treated with respect and provided a level of care that adequately meets the needs of these patients and employees.
Recent COVID-19 New York Nursing Home News
New York nursing homes and COVID-19 have frequently been the subject of news headlines across the country, as New York has been hit harder with COVID-19 than any other state. Every day, a new story sheds light on the rampant problem of managing and preventing the spread of coronavirus in New York nursing homes and long-term care facilities. The most recent stories on this matter include the following:
May 1, 2020 (Washington Heights, New York) – According to nypost.com, at least ninety-eight (98) nursing home residents at a Washington Heights facility are presumed to have died from COVID-19, making this group of patients the largest cluster of cases in New York. The facility at issue, Isabella Geriatric Center, has 705 beds, and at least 46 patients are confirmed to have died from COVID-19, with 52 other deceased patients being presumed to have died from COVID-19. The total number of deceased patients accounts for approximately 14 percent of the facility’s patient population, and while some patients died at the nursing home, others died at home or a nearby hospital. The grim reality of just how many patients have died from COVID-19 at this nursing home facility was not previously disclosed by the nursing home or the state.
April 30, 2020 (New York) – As reported by abc7ny.com, the New York Department of Health (DOH) has revised its policy regarding nursing home employees who have tested positive for COVID-19 being allowed to work. Specifically, the new policy states that employees who have tested positive for COVID-19 are prohibited from returning to work for at least 14 days. The new DOH policy has been implemented in response to an increasing number of deaths in nursing homes. So far, more “than 1 in 5 coronavirus deaths in New York have occurred in adult long-term care facilities.”
April 30, 2020 (Tioga County and Steuben County, New York) – An article published by www.pressconnects.com reveals that Elderwood, a company that operates two nursing homes, one of which is in Waverly and the other in Hornell, has confirmed a total of 14 deaths between the two facilities. Data on COVID-19 cases provided by the state are based on information directly reported by nursing homes and other long-term care facilities. However, recent data released by the state of New York does not reveal the 14 deaths now confirmed at the two Elderwood facilities. As such, the underreporting of COVID-19 cases and deaths may be rampant throughout the state of New York.
April 29, 2020 (New York) – According to another nypost.com article, nurses and other staff members who tested positive for COVID-19 were allowed to continue treating patients at an upstate New York nursing home. So far, at least fifteen (15) people have died at the nursing home in Hornell, New York. State data does not reflect the total number of deaths related to COVID-19 at this nursing home facility. It is unclear whether the nursing home has failed to provide this information to the state.
April 23, 2020 (Albany, New York) – As reported by www.democratandchronicle.com, the New York State Department of Health will investigate the conduct of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities regarding the significant number of COVID-19 cases these facilities have faced. Since the beginning of March, more than 3,500 nursing home and other long-term care facility residents have died from COVID-19. The “investigation will focus on whether nursing homes and adult-care facilities appropriately followed state law and regulation as the coronavirus went on its torrid spread in New York.” While many nursing home and long-term care facilities are blaming the state for the spread of the coronavirus, Governor Cuomo stated that an investigation is necessary to ensure “policies are in place and being followed,” and that if such policies are not being followed, nursing homes and other long-term care facilities “can face a fine or they can lose their license.”
New York Nursing Homes and Long-Term Care Facilities Can Do More
Until a successful vaccine becomes available – which could take well over one year from now – cases of COVID-19 will continue to spread, and even if such spread slows down, a significant number of people in nursing homes will suffer from the disease, and some will die. While New York nursing homes and long-term care facilities cannot single-handedly stop the virus from spreading throughout the world, they can certainly take steps to prevent the spread of the disease within the walls of their facilities. Even with a high patient population, protocols can and must be followed. Failure to take all possible steps to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 to vulnerable patients and employees has, unfortunately, cost New York hundreds if not thousands of lives.
Contact the New York COVID-19 Nursing Home Lawsuit Lawyers of Parker Waichman LLP Today
If you are a patient or employee of a New York nursing home or long-term care facility and became ill with COVID-19 which you believe you contracted at the nursing home or you are a loved one of someone who died because of COVID-19, you should consider speaking with an attorney right away.
At Parker Waichman LLP, we have a team of nationally-recognized trial lawyers who regularly handle New York nursing home cases. No patient or employee deserves to suffer because of a nursing home’s negligence. Find out how Parker Waichman LLP can help you by calling 1-800-YOURLAWYER (1-800-968-7529) to schedule your free consultation today
New York | Brooklyn | Queens | Long Island | New Jersey | Florida
Call us at: 1-800-YOURLAWYER (800-968-7529) | Schedule your free consultation
Have you or a loved one been harmed in a nursing home?Click To Get A Free Case Review