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Palmer | Lopez Motto

Lawsuit Alleges “Gross Negligence” in COVID Nursing Home Death


States like New York, New Jersey, and Michigan have passed legislation that bars COVID-19-related medical malpractice suits. One exclusion to the rule is that cases of “gross negligence” are still permitted to go forward.

But what really constitutes “gross negligence” in a medical malpractice case. Indeed, the behavior needs to be so outrageous that it no longer fits the definition of “medical negligence” but passes into a careless disregard for the safety of another human being.

A Tennessee skilled nursing facility is facing just such a medical malpractice lawsuit.

What Happened? 

The lawsuit contends that an 89-year-old resident fell ill and later died of coronavirus. Her family has now filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the facility.

The lawsuit contends that several staff employees of the nursing home were allowed to work despite having symptoms of COVID-19. The lawsuit further contends that residents who came ill with the virus were moved in close proximity to residents who did not. Further, the nursing home is alleged to not have had an adequate supply of PPE to protect residents from sick employees. Two employees of the facility also traveled to New York, where there were more cases than anywhere else in the country, without being required to quarantine for 14 days prior to coming back to work.

Lawyers for the plaintiffs also allege that the nursing home attempted to cover-up information related to sick employees and residents.

Gross Negligence 

Medical negligence requires expert testimony from a medical expert who can comment on the prevailing standard of care for the industry and the way the defendant’s quality of care deviated from that.

In this case, you don’t have to be a genius medical doctor to understand where the nursing home went wrong. Contagion is a fairly accessible concept to almost everyone. If you place ill people around a vulnerable population, you are endangering their lives.

To prove gross negligence, the plaintiffs will need to prove that the defendant’s actions were so wanton and reckless, that they constituted a disregard for the life and safety of their patients. This is a higher standard to prove, but you would imagine that ill medical staff would know better than to breathe on a population particularly vulnerable to the coronavirus.

Talk to a Tampa Medical Malpractice Attorney Today 

Palmer | Lopez handles nursing home negligence and other medical negligence lawsuits for residents of Tampa. If you have been injured by a negligent medical doctor, call the Tampa medical malpractice attorneys at Palmer | Lopez today to schedule a free consultation. We can help.


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