Coronavirus Causes a Surge in Personal Injury Lawsuits
There are a number of industries that have already been impacted by the coronavirus and more appear likely as the virus spreads. Already, several cruise-goers aboard the Princess Diamond and the Grand Princess have filed lawsuits alleging that Princess Cruises was grossly negligent for exposing their passengers to the virus.
But cruise lines aren’t the only industry that have seen lawsuits over the coronavirus. Nursing homes are especially vulnerable right now, although not as vulnerable as their patients.
Chicago-Area Nursing Home Hit by Coronavirus
The coronavirus has spread throughout a Chicago-area nursing home with 46 individuals now testing positive for the virus. Thirty-three of those individuals are residents while another 13 are staff members. At least six of these individuals have been hospitalized and the rest were placed in isolation as the fought off the virus.
The CDC has repeatedly said that those who are older, those with breathing issues, and those with weakened immune systems are more vulnerable to the virus than other populations. Making matters worse, only about 50% of the individuals who are carriers for the virus show symptoms and symptoms can begin as late as two weeks after initial exposure.
For that reason, nursing homes have been refusing visitors while the country is in a state of lockdown. But how safe are our parents in these nursing homes?
Nursing Home Received Below-Average Ratings
The Chateau Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Willowbrook received a below-average rating from the federal agency that runs Medicare and Medicaid. This is important because one of the strongest weapons that our government has against substandard medical service is to deny that institution Medicare and Medicaid patients.
According to the report, Chateau received five health citations and sixteen quality of life complaints over the last three years. The nursing home was fined twice since 2017. Additionally, state regulators fined Chateau after two residents who were known risks were allowed to wander free. They both suffered falls. One resident fractured her eye socket while the other required seven staples in her scalp.
It’s unclear, at this point, if anyone intends to sue the nursing home for the coronavirus outbreak, but if they did, they would likely have a case. Medical professionals are expected to be at the front lines of this battle against the virus and there are several CDC-recommended policies in place to protect those who are vulnerable to the virus. If the contagion is allowed to spread, an argument could be made that the nursing home is responsible for it.
That being said, what we know now is vastly different than what we knew a month or even two weeks ago. So any lawsuit against the nursing home will need to show that they had a policy in place or failed to enact a policy that could have prevented the virus outbreak.
Talk to a St. Petersburg Medical Malpractice Attorney Today
If you’ve been injured by negligent medical care, call the St. Petersburg medical malpractice attorneys at Masterson, Hoag & Smith today to schedule a free consultation.