Could nursing homes in Ohio be immune from COVID-19 lawsuits? In other words, could lawmakers agree that elderly nursing home residents and their families cannot sue a nursing home for elder neglect when that nursing home failed to prevent the spread of the coronavirus?
Such a proposition seems unethical and difficult to comprehend under the present circumstances, but it is precisely what nursing homes in Ohio and across the country are hoping for. According to a recent article in Time, at least 18 states already have such a measure in place, and many other states are also seeking to pass this type of law. Ohio is one of those states.
Nursing Homes Want to Avoid Lawsuits for Coronavirus Infections
Any nursing home in the Cleveland area that provides care to elderly residents must have certain safety protocols, and must be able to pass safety inspections. Furthermore, nursing homes in Ohio need to have infection-control protocols to prevent the spread of diseases so that vulnerable residents in these facilities do not contract COVID-19.
News reports across the country have suggested that many nursing homes do not have these kinds of safety protocols in place, and that nursing home negligence could be to blame for many COVID-19 infections, serious illnesses, and deaths in nursing homes. Elder safety advocates agree, underscoring how many nursing homes have been able to get away with ineffective infection-control policies while focusing on profits.
The facilities argue that they should not be accountable for COVID-19 illnesses and deaths, and the facilities have been lobbying for broader protections and immunity from lawsuits. Nursing homes gained the support of the American Health Care Association (AHCA), which Time explains “represents for-profit nursing homes.”
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that almost 380,000 nursing home residents die every year from infections, and more than 60% of American nursing homes have been “cited for at least one infection control violation in the last two inspection cycles.”
Ohio May Grant Immunity to Nursing Homes and Other Businesses
Despite a clear need to hold nursing homes accountable for safety violations, Ohio lawmakers have passed bills that would grant immunity from civil lawsuits to “health-care workers, nursing homes, and other businesses . . . related to potential exposure to the coronavirus,” according to an article in the Toledo Blade. Both Ohio House and Senate bills have passed.
If the proposed legislation becomes law, nursing homes, businesses, schools, and universities would have immunity until April 1, 2021.
Contact Me to Learn More About Filing a Nursing Home Abuse Claim
Nursing homes in Cleveland and throughout the country must have certain infection-control protocols in place to protect residents, and these facilities must have other safety policies to prevent the spread of infection. When nursing homes are negligent, residents can suffer serious harm.
There are so many elderly Ohio residents who rely on nursing homes for care, and it is important to hold these facilities accountable when their actions—or inactions—lead to resident harm.
I can help you with your nursing home abuse and neglect claim, and I can answer your questions about COVID-19 infections and nursing home abuse lawsuits. Call my office today at 877.944.4373 to speak with me about your questions and concerns. I’ll Make Them Pay!®