Have New York’s Nursing Homes Failed Our Seniors?

Nursing homes have a responsibility to provide proper care to their residents. This includes a non-delegable duty to keep them safe from known pathogens. On February 29, 2020, a resident died of Covid 19 at a nursing home in the state of Washington, and many deaths followed at that facility shortly thereafter. New York and other states became aware of the hazard. Despite this knowledge, New York’s nursing homes have done little to protect their residents. The Covid 19 Pandemic has been spreading rapidly through New York’s nursing homes due to the negligence and recklessness of these facilities. If your loved one has suffered or died from Covid 19 at a nursing home, please call New York Covid 19 nursing home attorney Wittenstein & Wittenstein at 718-261-8114 for a free, safe consultation from the comfort of your home.

Can Nursing Homes Be Held Liable When Residents Contract Covid 19?

Yes. You can’t turn on the news without hearing about the Covid 10 Pandemic that has closed schools and businesses – shuttering most of the country. New Yorkers are not likely to overlook the fact that we’re the epicenter of this crisis with an escalating death toll due to the blare of sirens constantly outside our windows. It’s also no secret that older people, especially those with pre-existing conditions that require residential care, are the most vulnerable population. With this knowledge, nursing homes should be using the utmost care to protect their residents from infection. When nursing homes do not employ reasonable methods to diagnose and quarantine Covid 19 residents and/or to provide proper personal protection equipment (PPE) to their staff, they are putting their residents’ lives in jeopardy, and can be held liable for their suffering and death.

What’s the Difference Between Nursing Home Negligence and Medical Malpractice?

Medical malpractice occurs when a health care practitioner fails to use the proper standard of care for treating a patient. This can include failing to provide the proper diagnosis, utilizing an incorrect treatment or performing a procedure improperly. Nursing home negligence is often related to improperly trained medical and non-medical staff that fails to notice a condition completely, so that treatment is delayed. For example, a resident is not moved often enough causing bedsores to occur. By the time they’re noticed, they are severe and difficult to treat – sometimes they can cause fatal systemic infections such as sepsis. Nursing homes have a duty to take reasonable measures to keep their residents safe. When both the federal government and the state of New York have declared health emergencies, this responsibility is heightened. 

Misinforming Families and Failing To Provide Protective Equipment

As the pandemic spread through the New York area nursing homes became even more short staffed due to workers falling ill, and backups were not being put in place. Regulations prohibiting group meals meant extra work for staff that must now deliver food to the rooms. Visitors were banned, making it difficult or impossible for relatives and friends to get accurate information about their loved ones. Meanwhile, more and more residents became infected, with facilities covering up the problem. Without proper supervision, coordinated testing and protective equipment to prevent the spread of Covid 19 in nursing homes, it’s been allowed to run rampant. These actions constitute negligence and recklessness. If your loved one has suffered or died due to Covid, please call New York Covid 19 nursing home attorney Wittenstein & Wittenstein at 718-2761-8114 for a free, safe at home consultation.

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About the Author:

Senior Partner Ms. Wittenstein began working at the firm in 1985 as a managing paralegal, learning all the practices and procedures of the firm from Mr. Wittenstein and the staff. From 1995-1998, she attended CUNY Law School where she made a mark as a teaching assistant for Civil Rights leader Haywood Burns. She founded a Human Rights Delegation to Haiti and studied Constitutional Law with Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Working at the Equal Opportunity Employment Commision (EEOC), she learned a great deal about Employment Discrimination matters. She brought her knowledge of the Personal Injury practice and her passion for Civil Rights to the firm when she was admitted to the Bar in 1999. In 2000, she became a partner and the firm name was changed to Wittenstein & Wittenstein, Esqs. PC.

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