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Buffalo Nursing Home COVID-19 Lawsuit Moves Forward

On March 14, 2022, New York State Supreme Court Justice Jeanette Ogden rejected Humboldt House Rehabilitation and Nursing Center’s motion to dismiss the case involving Cecelia Robertson, who filed a complaint against the facility in April 2021. The complaint came after Robertson’s sister, Annette Herron, passed away from COVID-19 in the Buffalo nursing home.

This case moving forward may set an important precedent for other nursing home abuse and neglect cases throughout New York. At Dalli & Marino, LLP, we believe all nursing home complaints should be taken seriously, and all facilities must follow the law and protect the rights of those in their care. If you or a family member have any complaints about your living situation in a nursing home, we may be able to help you fight for the justice you deserve.

How Will the Buffalo Nursing Home COVID-19 Lawsuit Impact Future Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Cases?

After Roberston filed the complaint to Humboldt House, the facility attempted to toss it out. The nursing home believed they had protection from liability under the Emergency Disaster Treatment Protection Act, saying they could not be held responsible for COVID cases. However, the New York governor at the time, Andrew Cuomo, repealed this law in April 2021, around the same time Robertson filed her complaint.

Despite this immunity act, New York nursing homes are still obligated to follow the bill of rights in place for nursing home residents. With Justice Ogden’s decision to move forward with the case, Robertson’s representation can now look deeper into this case and fight for justice. This case sets an example for other nursing home abuse and neglect cases, especially ones involving COVID-19, because the nursing home is being held responsible for their negligent behavior.

Justice Ogden’s decision also demonstrates that nursing homes must comply with the law, regardless of immunities. New York details the rights of nursing home residents, and this case has shown that those rights should be prioritized in court.

What Rights Do Nursing Home Residents Have?

As this case has shown, nursing home residents have rights the facilities and caregivers must respect at all times. For instance, nursing home residents or those acting on their behalf have the right to an easy-to-use complaint system to express their concerns, which Robertson utilized. This case also highlights the following nursing home resident rights:

  • The right to receive visitors: Robertson said she was kept in the dark about her sister’s condition during COVID and was not allowed to visit. New York law gives nursing home residents the right to have any visitors of their choosing.
  • The right to appropriate medical care: Nursing home residents must have access to high-quality healthcare at all times. They also have the right to receive all information regarding their illness, injury, and treatment. They can choose their own doctor and have a say in their care and treatment.
  • Free from abuse and neglect: New York law protects nursing home residents from physical, emotional, verbal, and sexual abuse. You should always feel safe and comfortable in your facility. If you feel trapped or ignored, you have the right to complain or contact a lawyer.

Nursing home residents also have the right to dignity, respect, privacy, and independence. They are also permitted to leave the facility anytime and for any reason. Justice Ogden’s decision emphasizes the importance of these rights and shows other nursing homes that these rights must be recognized and honored.

Consult a New York Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer at Dalli & Marino, LLP

Entrusting a nursing home with caring for you or your loved one can be stressful. Unfortunately, you may find yourself in a situation where the facility breaks that trust, just as Robertson and Herron experienced. If you have any negative feelings about your treatment or care in your nursing home, you have the right to contact our award-winning team at Dalli & Marino, LLP.

Our well-versed and experienced legal team is committed to fighting for the rights of nursing home residents, holding the at-fault party accountable, and achieving a fair settlement. To schedule a complimentary consultation, fill out our contact form or call us at (888) 465-8790.

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