Placing a loved one in a nursing home is never easy. Family members should get better care there than they can get at home. No one ever thinks they are placing them in greater danger due to a pandemic.
People in nursing homes are some of the most vulnerable. There are factors that put them at greater risk. Many are elderly. Others have physical conditions that contribute to infection and death. Social distancing is difficult.
Many nursing homes decided to limit contact with anyone from outside the facility. That has made it almost impossible for families to track their loved ones’ health. About a third of all deaths in the U.S. are residents or staff members at long-term care facilities.
Many facilities were not prepared
COVID-19 caught many nursing homes off-guard. The situation is unprecedented. Yet, many families believe their loved ones got sick because the facilities did not react. Many say there was not enough staff or that the facility was not disinfected. Others believe staff members were not monitored.
The number of reported deaths at nursing homes in America is about 30,000. The numbers from Texas alone are startling. There are over 1,000 long-term healthcare facilities. About 170 of them had residents that were either infected or died. There are about 100 more with suspected, unconfirmed cases.
Holding negligent nursing homes responsible
Families seeking damages for COVID-19 related deaths are facing challenges. It might be difficult to prove the facility caused the death. There are laws in place in many states that protect nursing homes. Others are pending.
There might be legal avenues, even with those protections. There still might be legal avenues to bring gross or willful negligence lawsuits against them.