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Lawsuits Involving Nursing Homes Spike During COVID-19

June 11, 2020

By van der Veen, Hartshorn, Levin & Lindheim

The current COVID-19 pandemic has brought public health issues, economic issues, and even legal trouble for many. Lawsuits involving PPP loans have emerged and workers have sought to sue their employers for unsafe work conditions. Now, many nursing homes are also facing lawsuits, and so is the Pennsylvania Department of Health. Today, anyone with a loved one living in a nursing home has reason to be concerned, and should know what to do about it if they think a family member is being treated unfairly.

Experimenting on Residents

The statistics on nursing home deaths during COVID-19 are alarming. These deaths account for almost 70 percent of all virus-related deaths in Pennsylvania with over 2,000 residents dying during the pandemic. It is a situation that is being seen throughout the country and everyone is trying to figure out a solution. However, most agree that experimenting on the residents is not one of them.

This allegation forms the basis of one lawsuit filed against the Department of Health. The lawsuit against the Pennsylvania Department of Health accuses nursing homes of experimenting on residents by using hydroxychloroquine as a treatment for COVID-19. This drug has been the center of much debate since the crisis began, but the Food and Drug Administration has cautioned against its use. The residents given the drug were first given a consent form, but the plaintiffs are arguing they did not give informed consent, and the experiment was not a part of an official study.

Failing to Inspect

The state and federal laws that govern and regulate nursing homes are extremely important, as they ensure the safety of all residents living within a facility. As businesses have closed or greatly reduced their capacity, the same holds true for government agencies and nursing homes.

The state Department of Health brought all inspections to a halt at the beginning of the pandemic. Although they stated that they would still investigate if someone filed a complaint and the agency believed a resident’s safety was in danger, the routine inspections stopped altogether. This has prompted several to ask, including those involved in the lawsuit, that if COVID-19 is not an immediate threat to nursing home residents, what is?

The lawsuit represents clients throughout the state but the plaintiffs are not seeking financial compensation. The lawsuit only asks for inspections to resume.

Our Pennsylvania Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers can Help with Your Case

COVID-19 has exacerbated the issues that already existed within nursing homes. If you believe your loved one has become harmed due to nursing home conditions during the pandemic, call our Philadelphia personal injury lawyers at van der Veen, Hartshorn, Levin & Lindheim. We understand the rights nursing home residents have, and that those that work within them and that govern them have certain obligations. When those responsibilities are not met, we also know how to hold the appropriate parties accountable for paying any losses you or your loved one has sustained. Call us today at(215) 486-0123 or contact us online to schedule a meeting.


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