Cuomo Repeals COVID-19 Liability Protections for Nursing Homes


The Dietrich Law Firm P.C.’s compassionate team would like to take a moment to remember all of those who have lost their lives during the pandemic. Our hearts go out to those families who lost loved ones after being exposed to COVID-19 in nursing homes. In the pandemic’s early days, Governor Cuomo’s directive placed residents in substantial danger by admitting COVID-19 patients discharged from hospitals into long-term care facilities. The mandate prohibited nursing homes from testing any patients admitted to determine their level of contagiousness. In exchange, health care centers were provided with blanket immunity from COVID-19 liability.

The Repeal’s Implications for Nursing Home Victims

Liability protections allowed health care centers to cut corners and jeopardize vulnerable patients while increasing profit margins. The immunity law eliminated a significant deterrent that loved ones of nursing home residents had to protect their family members from neglect and mistreatment. Critics have pointed out Cuomo’s questionable motivations as the Greater New York Hospital Association, an influential lobbying group, donated lots of money to his campaign.

Investigators uncovered considerable discrepancies in many nursing homes’ data regarding on-site and in-hospital COVID-19 fatalities compared to the numbers reported to the Department of Health (DOH). According to the DOH’s latest figures, at least 15,000 nursing home residents throughout NYS died during the pandemic. Many nursing homes failed to implement critical guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). With an ongoing FBI investigation and calls for the Governor to resign, Cuomo signed S5177 into law to repeal the previously granted immunity to nursing homes.

Liability for Nursing Home Wrongful Death Claims

According to an investigation conducted by the New York Attorney General’s Office, the number of COVID-19 related deaths among nursing home residents was underreported by up to 50 percent. Many patients died shortly after being transported to the hospital, so they were not counted as nursing home fatalities. Jed Dietrich, Esq., acclaimed as an American Institute of Personal Injury Attorneys 10 Best Attorneys, and his team believe that the repeal of pandemic liability protections is an enormous step in the right direction. Many nursing home victims could have easily been saved, as the harm inflicted on them was avoidable. Allowing nursing homes to escape liability for long-standing failures of providing adequate staff and carrying out basic COVID protocols would be completely unacceptable. Pandemic or not, nursing homes were obligated to protect our loved ones. Long-term care facilities must be held accountable for their shortcomings, such as staff not wearing masks, unmonitored residents, and not enforcing social distancing standards.

Consult with a Seasoned Nursing Home Injury Attorney in Western New York

If your loved one was unfortunate enough to be lost to COVID-19 in a nursing home, we encourage you to contact the Dietrich Law Firm P.C. for a free consultation. Although no amount of money can bring your loved one back, monetary compensation can help provide some much-needed support. Jed Dietrich, Esq., and his battle-tested team of wrongful death attorneys understand how difficult of a time it is for you and your family. The last thing surviving families need is to be troubled by legal issues. Allow us to help you by exposing destructive behaviors and substandard practices of the responsible nursing home so that others will not have to suffer the same fate. We will systematically investigate the circumstances surrounding your loved one’s passing and determine if the nursing home can be held liable. Our elite team is available 24 hours per day and 7 days per week at 716-839-3939 or by filling out the online consultation form.

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