In the midst of a global pandemic it is more important than ever to protect the most vulnerable people in our society. For those working in nursing homes, this means wearing protective equipment, practicing social distancing, and ensuring the residents are suitably protected by disinfecting surfaces and avoiding contact with others. When nursing homes fail to provide the equipment necessary for this, or simply fail to prevent an outbreak on their premises, they can be held liable.
Negligence and Protective Measures
When you decide to put your loved one in the care of a nursing home, you are placing the responsibility of protecting your loved one in the hands of the nursing home. One way of protecting them is to keep them safe from avoidable illnesses, which can be done through a combination of efforts. When the nursing home fails to implement all necessary measures, outbreaks can occur.
Measures nursing homes should be taking to avoid COVID-19:
- Disinfecting surfaces regularly
- Providing staff with personal protective equipment (PPE) and requiring the use of said equipment
- Maintaining social distancing between residents
- Prohibiting visitors
- Closely monitoring all residents for symptoms of the virus
- Providing staff with the opportunity to stay home if they start experiencing symptoms
- Having procedures in place in the case of an outbreak to mitigate spread among residents
- Requiring the use of mouth/nose coverings and gloves whenever possible
These measures are well known to help slow the spread of the virus and can prevent an outbreak among isolated populations. When nursing homes fail to follow these measures and an outbreak occurs, people suffer. The neglect of some nursing homes has directly resulted in vulnerable adult deaths.
Causes and Liabilities in COVID-19 Outbreaks
When you file a claim for damages caused by neglect of vulnerable adults, you want to hold the facility accountable. The failures that have led to you or your family’s suffering could have been avoided at the nursing home owners. Some administrative failures that can be claimed as neglect are:
- Failing to provide sick leave to staff, forcing them to come to work, interact, and affect residents and fellow staff
- Not training staff to properly disinfect or handle residents to avoid vulnerable adult infections
- Not providing sufficient personal protective equipment for staff and residents
When an institution neglects its responsibilities, they are responsible for compensating the vulnerable adult, or the vulnerable adults family for damages the nursing home caused. These damages can range from minor to catastrophic, meaning it is important to understand all the damages you can claim before you file it with the court. The damages available include:
- Unnecessary endangerment
- Medical bills
- Pain and suffering
- Wrongful death
- Funeral expenses
Get the Help Your Family Deserves
If you are considering filing a nursing home neglect case due to the COVID-19 outbreak, you will need strong legal support. Our trial lawyers at olympiainjurylawyers.com understand and have been successful in holding nursing homes accountable, and are here to help you file your claim and fight to make nursing homes take better and legally required care of vulnerable adults. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation and discuss your case. We can do telephone intake and ZOOM video, audio or both.