Bill Protecting Nursing Homes From COVID Lawsuits Passes
A bill widely-lauded as protecting businesses from nuisance lawsuits needs only the Governor’s signature to become law. The new resolution would provide immunity for businesses that are sued after a patron contracts COVID and suffers injury. In this article, we’ll look at the scope of the legislation and how to properly prepare yourself.
What Does the Legislation Do?
The legislation raises the standard of proof in COVID lawsuits and makes them more difficult to file. However, lawsuits in which one person alleges that they were infected by an illness are nearly impossible to win anyway. Food poisoning lawsuits, for example, are not even worth filing. The restaurant will always claim that some other party caused your food poisoning and you will never have any way to prove otherwise. So why is this legislation important?
Well, nursing homes were getting hit with multiple wrongful death lawsuits while they allowed the disease to spread like wildfire on their premises. In fact, nursing home deaths accounted for nearly half of all deaths in the State of Florida. So why protect them?
The New Standard
Essentially, those bringing lawsuits against nursing homes would have to prove that the conduct was either intentional or that the nursing home was grossly negligent. In other words, their standard of care was so wanting that it made the death of their patients inevitable. With so many dead in Florida nursing homes, one could question whether this legislation actually protects anyone. However, it prevents a plaintiff from raising the argument that the nursing home failed to provide its employees with PPE if PPE becomes hard to come by or cannot be acquired at a “reasonable” cost. These protections are set to run out in one year.
The problem is that the new legislation affects both businesses like restaurants, which don’t need the legislation to prevent unprovable lawsuits and businesses like the nursing homes who contributed as many deaths to the COVID-19 death toll as all other industries combined. It is particularly the nursing home industry that needs to be regulated, but it’s easier and cheaper to regulate the grieving families who lost loved ones due to a substandard quality of care.
It’s no secret that nursing homes house the most vulnerable people in our society. These are people who were recently discharged from surgery, suffered strokes or heart attacks, and are in need of 24-hour care. They are much more prone to dying of even a simple flu than the rest of society. The infection-control measures should thus have already been in place. They just weren’t. Now, we want to prevent grieving families from holding the nursing homes accountable. That doesn’t seem fair.
Talk to a Florida Personal Injury Attorney
If your loved one has lost their life in a nursing home due to COVID, call the Tampa personal injury attorneys at The Matassini Law Firm today to schedule a free consultation and discuss your family’s tragedy in a confidential setting.