An article entitled “As residents perish, nursing homes fight for protection from lawsuits” published on May 26, 2020 in POLITICO stated, “As an unprecedented catastrophe unfolds in which more than 28,000 people have died of Covid-19 in care facilities, the nursing home industry is responding with an unprecedented action of its own: Using its multi-million dollar lobbying machine to secure protections from liability in lawsuits.”
“At least 20 states have swiftly taken action within the last two and a half months to limit the legal exposure of the politically powerful nursing home industry, which risks huge losses if families of coronavirus victims successfully sue facilities hit by the pandemic. Now, the industry is turning its energies to obtaining nationwide protections from Congress in the upcoming coronavirus relief bill.”
“At the federal level, the industry has spent more than $4 million on lobbying over the past year, employing more than a dozen full-time lobbyists and drawing on an army of contractors including Brian Ballard, former lobbyist for President Donald Trump, and ex-Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, a former Republican National Committee chairman.”
The Guardian reported on May 26, 2020: “As Governor Andrew Cuomo faced a spirited challenge in his bid to win New York’s 2018 Democratic primary, his political apparatus got a last-minute boost: a powerful healthcare industry group suddenly poured more than $1m into a Democratic committee backing his campaign. Less than two years after that flood of cash from the Greater New York Hospital Association (GNYHA), Cuomo signed legislation last month quietly shielding hospital and nursing home executives from the threat of lawsuits stemming from the coronavirus outbreak. The provision, inserted into an annual budget bill by Cuomo’s aides, created one of the nation’s most explicit immunity protections for healthcare industry officials, according to legal experts.”
More than 5,000 New York nursing home residents have died due to the coronavirus.
“To date, 19 states have enacted some form of immunity for hospitals and nursing homes during the pandemic. Based on data reported by the New York Times, [an] analysis asserts that more than three-quarters of total nursing home deaths from Covid-19 come from states that have granted corporate immunity to healthcare facilities [“77% of total deaths come from states that gave immunity to corporations who owned nursing homes and healthcare facilities; moreover, 76% of total nursing home deaths come from states that have legal immunity status for these facilities”].”
As stated in The Hill on May 23, 2020, “Nursing homes are generally only liable for harm to residents if they fail to act reasonably under the circumstances and that failure leads to foreseeable physical harm … Consequently, nursing homes may be able to escape liability even for seemingly deplorable conditions if they show that they acted like other homes did in the face of the pandemic. This truth exposes the real impact of the new immunity provisions: protecting providers who act unreasonably and fail to follow industry norms.”
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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