Florida Passes Nursing Home Protections While New York Revokes Them
For those of you who don’t know what’s going on in New York, the Governor was embattled well before several allegations of sexual misconduct were made by former staffers. New York raised the alarm over Cuomo after he forced the state’s nursing homes to take COVID runoff patients. Essentially, the argument was made that Andrew Cuomo had placed sick and contagious patients into a vulnerable population. Cuomo was blamed for the move, but he pointed the finger at the quality of care in nursing homes. In this case, both accusations were true. This resulted in a standoff between the nursing homes and the Governor which has now climaxed into the revocation of medical malpractice protections to New York State’s nursing homes.
Meanwhile, In Florida…
In Florida, the state recently announced measures to provide immunity to nursing homes from COVID-related medical malpractice lawsuits. Essentially, a plaintiff would have to claim that the nursing home was grossly negligent and did not follow CDC recommendations which resulted in the death of one or more of their patients. While the new legislation shouldn’t hamper many of the lawsuits from moving forward, many question why nursing homes deserve any protection whatsoever after serving up more COVID-related deaths than any other industry in the country.
What Happened in These Nursing Homes?
Essentially, the same story is true everywhere except New York. Nursing home staff tracked the illness into the facility and spread it from patient to patient. In some cases, the quality of care was so compromised that COVID-positive patients were being housed in the same rooms as those who were free of the virus. These nursing homes (not all of them) failed even the most basic anti-contagion protocols that any medical facility would be expected to follow. Their negligence was substantial.
In New York, however, the situation was made worse by the Governor. In the early stages of the pandemic, NYC hospitals were at 100% capacity when the hospitals began discharging the patients into nursing homes. According to Cuomo, the nursing homes were under contract to accept these patients. According to the nursing homes, they lacked the ability to safely care for their current patients and COVID-positive patients. The Governor strong-armed the nursing homes into accepting the patients under the threat of revoking funding. However, it’s unclear that such a contract could have been enforced. The nursing homes owe a duty of care to the patients who are already there. They cannot breach their duty of care to one party simply because a contract says they have to. The government has no authority to demand that a health care facility imperil current patients to treat COVID patients.
Cuomo was blamed for the deaths but has never stopped pointing the finger at the nursing homes. This appears likely to be the stance he takes until he is removed from office on sexual misconduct charges.
Talk to a Tampa Personal Injury Lawyer Today
You can still file lawsuits against nursing homes in Florida. If your loved one has been injured or contracted COVID, call the Tampa personal injury attorneys at The Matassini Law Firm today to schedule a free consultation and learn more about how we can hold negligent nursing homes accountable for their indifference toward their patients.