Alarmingly, more than 40% of the more than 10,000 people who have died of the Coronavirus in New Jersey were nursing home residents or staff. Clearly, the Coronavirus has created an unprecedented challenge for nursing homes. But, could the response have been better? For the families who lost loved ones to the Coronavirus, it’s an important question, and they deserve answers.
This said, beyond just not doing enough, some of the State’s nursing homes have done their residents and staff wrong – and made this bad situation far worse. Sadly, we have learned that lives were lost at nursing homes due to the grossly negligent and willful misconduct of the homes, their administrators and their owners: For instance, certain nursing homes forced nurses with coronavirus symptoms to report to work, refused to let staff wear protective gear like masks, failed to isolate and segregate residents who were diagnosed with coronavirus from other healthy residents, and deliberately hid from staff and family members that residents had tested positive for the disease. In short, not only were best practices not followed, these nursing homes have recklessly, grossly negligently and willfully cost lives.
Families of loved ones that died at nursing homes deserve to know the truth about their family member’s death. While we applaud the New Jersey Attorney General for undertaking an investigation, family members deserve to have their individual situations analyzed as well.
Though New Jersey recently passed legislation to shield nursing homes from liability from lawsuits seeking compensation for harms arising out of the coronavirus pandemic, these new laws do not cover or absolve nursing homes who engaged in the conduct we have described above. If you or your loved one contracted COVID-19 because of a nursing home’s grossly negligent, reckless or willful misconduct, you may be entitled to compensation for the harm you have suffered.
Matsikoudis & Fanciullo is honored to represent families who have lost loved ones due to nursing home misconduct. If you would like a free consultation please call us or fill out this form.