Stated within the April 2020 New York budget bill known as the Emergency Or Disaster Treatment Protection Act, commonly referred to as “30-D,” were provisions that relaxed record-keeping requirements and immunized health care providers, including nursing home operators, from criminal and civil liability as long as they are responding to the COVID-19 emergency in good faith.
Acknowledging that changing New York’s liability law to provide unnecessary and ill-advised immunity to New York nursing homes with long histories of poor care, infection control problems, and serious harms suffered by residents that pre-date the coronavirus pandemic that has resulted in massive nursing home coronavirus resident deaths (more than 6,000 New York nursing home residents have died from the coronavirus based on the reporting of nursing homes to state authorities), nineteen New York legislators have sponsored and submitted New York Assembly Bill Number A10427 (the same as Senate Bill Number S08497) that “repeals Article 30-D of the Public Health Law (colloquially known as the Emergency or Disaster Treatment Protection Act) with the intent of holding health care facilities, administrators, and executives accountable for harm and damages incurred.”
The sponsors of the proposed legislation state as the justification for the repeal: “As the COVID-19 pandemic has progressed in New York State, it is now apparent that negligence by administrators and executives of nursing homes has occurred at an extraordinary degree. The consequences have been tragic: as of early May 2020, nearly five thousand of New York’s elderly and most vulnerable residents have succumbed to this disease, and to date, there has been zero accountability nor transparency for these preventable deaths. The ELFA bill (A.9506/S.7506) in the FY 2021 state budget bills codified Article 30-D of the Public Health Law. In particular, Article 30-D egregiously uses severe liability standards as a means to insulate health care facilities and specifically, administrators and executives of such facilities, from any civil or criminal liability for negligence. Repealing this article is a much-needed step to holding health care administrators accountable and doing everything possible to stop even more preventable deaths from happening.”
The primary sponsor of the Bill in the New York Assembly reportedly stated that his “analysis of the difference in language between Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s late March executive order — which provided a measure of immunity for health care workers — and the language of 30-D, which was only inserted in the late stages of budget bill negotiations, showed that it principally expanded protection to well-connected executives and investors.”
If your loved one contracted the coronavirus while in a nursing home in the United States and died as a result, you should promptly contact a nursing home coronavirus lawyer in your state who may investigate your coronavirus nursing home death claim for you and represent your loved one’s estate and family in a nursing home coronavirus death case, if appropriate.
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