More Nursing Homes Face Medical Malpractice Lawsuit
America is learning a lot about itself right now while the nation remains in lockdown as fears over the spread of coronavirus have shut down the economy. Nursing homes are particularly under fire right now because they house such a vulnerable population.
In a survey conducted by the U.S. government, 75% of nursing homes were found not to be in compliance with regulations to help stem the transfer of infection. This has resulted in outbreaks of coronavirus within nursing homes and taking the lives of several of their residents. That has resulted in a number of wrongful death lawsuits against nursing homes all across the U.S.
Here in Florida, nursing homes are lobbying the Governor to place a moratorium on lawsuits against them during the state of emergency.
Nursing Homes are Responsible for 12,000 Deaths
Over 12,000 of those who have died of coronavirus in the United States contracted the disease inside of a nursing home. As you might expect, nursing homes are heavily regulated to ensure that their residents are safe. These regulations are borne of medical boards advising legislators on what needs to be done to ensure patient safety. Despite these regulations, somewhere around 15% – 20% of all coronavirus deaths involve those who contracted the illness in an American nursing home.
Now, you can argue that it’s just a matter of course that nursing homes would produce the most vulnerable victims. These are older Americans who have just faced a serious medical event who need 24-hour nursing care. Of course, the coronavirus would take more victims from this demographic than any other.
While true, nursing homes also owe a duty of care to their residents. This duty is both implied by general civil law and imposed by federal and state governments in the form of regulations. These regulations require nursing homes to avoid slip and fall hazards and also require that specific sanitation measures be put into place to avoid an infection jumping from one patient to another. While 75% of American nursing homes failed basic inspections, that alone does not absolve them of their responsibility to their residents and their family members.
Local Governments Use Nursing Homes for COVID-19 Patients
While it’s clear that some of these nursing homes have failed in their obligations to their patients, some particularly hard-hit states are using nursing home beds to put the worst COVID-19 patients. It’s unclear how many subsequent infections resulted from this practice. Many of the nursing home outbreaks are in places where there were not a great number of overall cases or there was no policy in place to use nursing home beds for COVID patients. This would indeed create a liability blur for potential plaintiffs.
Talk to a Tampa Medical Malpractice Attorney Today
If you believe that you’ve been injured by a negligent medical doctor or hospital staff, call the Tampa medical malpractice attorneys at Palmer | Lopez today to schedule a free case evaluation.