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COVID Death on the Rise Again in Elder Care Facilities

On March 25, 2020, amid the pandemic spreading through New York, then Governor Andrew Cuomo issued a directive effectively forcing nursing homes to accept COVID patients released from hospitals after being deemed stable. A month later, Cuomo used powers granted to him in a state of emergency to install liability relief for nursing homes and hospitals, essentially protecting them against lawsuits. In April, the protection was lifted, but nursing homes had already felt the damage of Cuomo’s order.

In February of this year, the Associated Press reported that over 9,000 COVID patients were placed in nursing homes due to Cuomo’s order, which is forty percent more than had been previously reported by the State Health Department. According to the New York State attorney general’s office, allegedly, the state has undercounted the number of people who died in nursing homes by up to fifty percent. In March, the Times reported that aides for Cuomo purposefully obscured the number of nursing home deaths.

While older adults are some of the most vulnerable in society, not just in the pandemic but in general, politicians and the media often forget them. The lack of staff and inadequate care in elderly care facilities led to nightmare scenarios and the death of staff and patients. A report released by Kaiser Family Foundation showed that the number of COVID deaths inside nursing homes has begun to rise once more during July and August of this year, reaching its highest since February. A COVID Tracking Project estimated that nearly one in ten people living in nursing homes in the U.S. died because of the virus.

Nursing homes and hospitals were significant contributors to Cuomo’s 2018 campaign. His decision to grant them liability relief protected nursing homes and hospitals against facing any consequences for their negligence that led to the death of their elder patients. However, Cuomo’s order was not the only cause for the rise in deaths within nursing homes. The elderly care industry has been suffering from increasing privatization and corporatization. The more nursing homes, private equity firms and corporate chains start to own, the more the quality of care declines across the board.

Outbreaks occur even in the best-run facilities, but the for-profit elderly care industry is almost entirely to blame for the extent of the nursing home tragedy. Nursing homes and hospital lobbies seem to care more about campaigning, political lobbying, and politicians like Cuomo, who will bend to their will more than providing adequate staffing and care.

Contact Our Experienced Nursing Home COVID Lawyers in New York

During this unprecedented time, nursing homes must take every precaution to protect their vulnerable patients. These measures include implementing safety protocols, instituting nursing home neglect training, and ensuring proper staffing levels. However, not all nursing homes prioritize the care and health of their elderly patients.

If a loved one has suffered nursing home neglect, the attorneys at Dalli & Marino can help. Since 1996, our seasoned New York trial attorneys have been aggressively advocating for victims of nursing home abuse. Our legal team is committed to cultivating strong relationships with our clients through trusted, reliable communication. We approach every case on an individual basis, dedicated to helping our clients recover the compensation they deserve. To schedule a consultation, fill out our contact form or call (888) 465-8790.


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