At the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, we were all warned that the most vulnerable facilities were nursing home residents and healthcare personnel who care for them. And despite those warnings, the federal government is only beginning to gather data and conduct analysis on a national scale.
The results are staggering, and they show that more than half of all deaths in 14 States are from nursing homes and long-term elderly care facilities.
In Los Angeles County alone, out of 2,241 deaths, nearly a 1000 are the ones living and working in skilled nursing facilities. With some of the recent nursing home allegations pointing to willful misconduct regarding safety protocols, and with many of them facing the first wrongful death lawsuits, the public opinion leans toward the rules and regulations issued by the state.
Because of this devastating statistic, and recent nursing home allegations of willful misconduct regarding safety procedures, a new order was issued by the state health officials demanding a testing of all nursing home residents for Covid-19.
California’s health and human services Secretary, Dr. Mark Gahly, said that ”Mandatory testing will provide the knowledge we all need to make informed care decisions.”
In addition, the L.A. County Board of Supervisors is considering hiring an independent inspector to investigate the oversight of appropriate testing of nursing facilities in the region.
There is also a matter of should nursing homes that show no cases conduct such rigorous testing.
The rules adopted last week would allow them to skip the testing of their staff and only test 10% of its occupants, but in light of new analysis results, the new rule requires for them to test 20% of residents and health workers, as well as testing of all staff members at least once per month.
The County officials point out that it is essential to keep our elderly safe from the virus as they are more susceptible to the virus. And because of the many chronic diseases and heart problems and overall week immunity once they are infected, it usually leads to death.
It is also a matter of trust as many families have placed their loved ones in nursing homes confident that they would have the best care and medical assistance following their health condition.
For a facility to overlook such essential safety rules and regulations and gamble with dozens of lives could be described as a major case of negligence and willful misconduct.
There are even reports of healthcare staff being prevented by their facility to wear protective equipment or continue working untested if they alerted the facility that they have been exposed to Covid-19.
It is no surprise that many families said enough is enough, and decided to hire a personal injury lawyer and file a Wrongful Death Lawsuit.
They hope they will receive justice for the loss of their loved ones and prevent even more elderly from dying in places where they should be safe and cared for. And with many senior lawyers deciding not to represent nursing homes as it is not in the public interest, many nursing facilities are looking at a high number of lawsuits coming their way if they don’t follow the rules of testing and improve their safety procedures.
It’s good to know that the hand of the law in Los Angeles County still gives justice when needed.
So if you or your family member have a nursing home and Covid-19 related problem, it’s good to know that you can hire an experienced COVI19 attorney, and take appropriate legal action. At this point, filling such a lawsuit can be considered as a means to make nursing homes and long-term nursing facilities a safer place for all our loved one