Coronavirus Wrongful Deaths in Nursing Homes
As the coronavirus outbreak continues to impact communities across the world, nursing homes and long-term care facilities have been hit especially hard by the deadly disease. One Southeast Portland facility is reportedly home to the largest known cluster of COVID-19 cases in the state – and, according to state inspectors, they may be liable for the resulting deaths.
If a family member has suddenly died due to contracting coronavirus in a nursing home or long-term care facility, please contact Paulson Coletti Trial Attorneys PC to discuss your case. We are committed to holding nursing homes accountable for any wrongful deaths that may have occurred to negligence.
Southeast Portland Nursing Home Had Multiple COVID-19 Safety Violations
Healthcare at Foster Creek, a long-term care facility in Southeast Portland, is currently the site of the largest COVID-19 cluster in the state: since the first case was reported two weeks ago, it is now home to 50 confirmed cases and 14 deaths among residents and staff.
A comprehensive inspection by the Department of Health Services found over 20 infractions that violated even the basic principles of hygiene. Some of these violations include:
- A failure to properly wash hands after assisting residents
- A failure to properly wash hands after touching used gloves and face masks
- A facility-imposed limit of one face mask per shift, with no replacements available – even if they are contaminated or broken
- A failure to keep masks on when near residents and staff
- A failure to practice safe social distancing measures
Additionally, the nursing home did not ensure that staff reporting in for shifts were free of fever or any other symptoms that may have indicated potential COVID-19 infection.
Are Nursing Homes Liable for Wrongful Deaths as a Result of COVID-19 Infection?
If a nursing home or long-term care facility failed to uphold a standard of care that ensured the safety and welfare of its residents and staff, it may be held liable on the grounds of negligence. In the case of Healthcare at Foster Creek, they may be held liable in gross negligence of nearly all government-recommended regulations.
On April 2, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released a guide for long-term facilities, recommending a strict set of safety measures to prevent the further spread of coronavirus. This includes measures such as:
- Proper training for infection control
- Proper distribution of all necessary personal protective equipment (PPE)
- Proper training on how to correctly utilize PPE
- Immediate symptom screening for everyone in nursing homes, including both residents and staff
- Separating COVID-19 positive residents with COVID-19 negative residents, along with using separate staffing for both groups
Healthcare at Foster Creek has systematically failed to follow all of the above listed guidelines, according to the state inspection. Therefore, they may be held liable for any and all wrongful deaths that occur as a result of their negligence.
Who Can Be Held Liable?
If a nursing home facility’s negligence has led its residents and staff to contract COVID-19 and pass away as a result, they may be the primary party liable for any wrongful deaths that result. This is especially true if they have failed to follow the recommendations set forth by the CDC and CMS.
It is important to note that, while many caretakers and medical professionals in nursing homes may have contributed to the spread of COVID-19, they may not necessarily be held liable for their actions. Often, many of these staff are also victims of a long-term care facility’s negligence: they have failed to receive the proper equipment and training in order to aid in infection control. Despite any shortcomings they may have in a facility, these staff are the only ones giving residents the care that they deserve during such difficult times.
We Can Help You Pursue a Legal Claim for COVID-19 Deaths
At Paulson Coletti Trial Attorneys PC, our Portland personal injury attorneys are committed to assisting those who have suffered a wrongful death due to the negligence of another. A wrongful death due to COVID-19 infection in a nursing home can be an incredibly frustrating, stressful situation. We can provide valuable legal counsel, helping to formulate a comprehensive case strategy to hold the nursing home facility fully accountable for their negligent actions. This includes conducting a full investigation into the matter, using our resources to determine all parties that are liable for your loved one’s death, and pursuing them to the fullest extent of the law to secure the maximum possible compensation.
Although we understand that financial compensation is a small consolation for the loss of a loved one, it may help provide some relief for your pain and suffering – and it may help to hold those negligent parties fully responsible for their actions.
Contact Us Today for Legal Assistance
If you or a loved one has lost a family member in a nursing home due to COVID-19 infection, contact us immediately to discuss your case. No family should have to deal with the sudden loss of a loved one in these difficult times due to the irresponsibility and negligence of another.
Contact us today to schedule a free consultation with us and let us help you seek justice today.