Has Your Loved One Died in a Nursing Home of COVID-19?

Making the decision to entrust a parent or spouse to the care of a nursing home is one of the most emotionally and financially challenging choices we face. There often comes a time when medical needs or physical challenges force us to rely on professionals. When we do, we should be able to trust that they will be well cared for and kept safe from harm.

Unfortunately, in this time of coronavirus, too many nursing homes and care centers have failed to step up to the task, and residents are dying. Beloved grandparents, fathers, mothers, husbands, and wives are not only suffering from lax infectious disease control, but they are dying alone, unable to be seen, talked to, or held by those who love them.

Nursing home residents are among our most vulnerable citizens due to their age and pre-existing conditions, but they also cannot shelter in place as has been directed by governors and other leaders across the country. They must rely on staff to provide them with medical and hygienic care, which can put them at risk if special care is not taken.

We believe that nursing facilities that have failed to implement proper infection control procedures are responsible for the virus’ deadly spread to vulnerable residents.

We are, indeed, in trying times. There is no cure for coronavirus, but the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued guidelines for nursing facilities to mitigate its spread as early as February 6, 2020.

In fact, as far back as 2016, medical care providers were required to include plans to address emerging infectious diseases in their emergency preparedness plans under the Emergency Preparedness Final Rule.

A full year ago, following public health events such as Ebola, Zika, and pandemic H1N1 influenza, CMS updated their guidance to underscore the need for preparation.

In short, nursing facilities were supposed to have a plan for handling infectious diseases like COVID-19. Based on the increasing number of COVID-19 infections and deaths in nursing homes across the country, many were woefully underprepared. CMS issued updated guidelines March 13, 2020, but for many residents, lack of earlier compliance has already taken a deadly turn.

There are over 15,000 nursing homes across the United States, and many of them have managed to protect their residents from COVID-19. We are unsure if or when nursing home negligence claims that arise from the coronavirus pandemic will be upheld in court, but we believe that nursing homes have a well-tested duty to keep those entrusted to their care safe and free from harm.

OnderLaw is standing by the families of residents who have died due to failure of nursing homes to protect their residents from coronavirus, failure to implement proper infection control measures, failure of nursing homes to “rapidly identify and manage ill residents,” and failure of nursing homes to diagnose and properly treat residents in a timely manner who have become infected with coronavirus.

If you or a loved one has become infected by coronavirus at a nursing home in the United States, contact OnderLaw for a no-cost, no-obligation consultation. Together, we can hold nursing homes responsible for failing to protect our most vulnerable residents and stop needless suffering in the future.