April 29, 2020
Rampant COVID-19 cases at nursing homes all over the state have put a special attention on the way these facilities are being managed, and people are questioning if everything was done to adequately protect residents.
Nursing-home owners and operators are conscious of the negligence, and while the very elders they are supposed to safeguard lay dying, the nursing-home industry is knocking on doors in Sacramento seeking immunity to protect itself from liability.
These long-term facilities have requested Gov. Gavin Newsom to sign an executive order that would grant them blanket immunity from all civil and criminal prosecution for the duration of the pandemic. The suggested order would grant immunity, not only for injuries or deaths that result from treating the virus, but for all claims of Elder Abuse.
Blanket immunity for these facilities allows bad actors to walk away from responsibility for their actions. For years now, they have been trying to circumvent the court process via arbitration, forcing patients to forgo public jury trials, and although arbitration clauses are bad news for nursing-home residents, offering sweeping immunity is far worse.
According to figures published by the Wall Street Journal last week, 10,000 people already have died from the coronavirus in American nursing-care facilities and California has seen outbreaks at numerous nursing homes. Given these numbers, is it appropriate to remove any possibility of a liability for wrongdoing and substantially increase the risk of harm to this frail and vulnerable population?
Here at Gharibian Law, we acknowledge that the coronavirus is a merciless pathogen that has brought indefinable suffering to the world, but that fact should not be used to shield nursing homes from accountability. Expecting these facilities to police themselves without any oversight will certainly doom more of our seniors.
If you or someone you love is caught in a possible case of Medical Malpractice or Elderly Healthcare Abuse, we welcome your call to have a legal consultation to see if we can help you with your case. Contact us at 888-288-0091 or through our website.