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Negligent Nursing Homes and the Coronavirus: Do I Have a Case?

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Illinois Nursing Homes and COVID-19

How to Identify if Inadequate Care at a Nursing Home or a Long-term Care Facility Is Responsible for the Death of a Loved One: Know the Facts

Negligent Nursing Homes and the Coronavirus: Do I Have a Case?

Over One-Third of U.S. Coronavirus Deaths Are Linked to Nursing Homes

Close to 30,000 residents and workers have died from the novel coronavirus at nursing homes and other long-term care facilities – both residents and workers. Nursing home populations are at a high risk of being infected by the coronavirus and the number of deaths linked to care facilities is far higher than non-at-risk groups. Underlying health conditions among older adults and confined living areas influence the high rates of coronavirus cases and deaths linked to care facilities. 

Illinois Has 4th Highest Nursing Home COVID-19 Cases

As of mid-May, Illinois has the fourth highest COVID-19 infections linked to long-term care facilities, with roughly 11,500 cases.  These 11,500 nursing home cases account for 46% of total Illinois State deaths.

Illinois Nursing Homes and COVID-19 Statistics

Nursing Home, or Long-Term Facility Cases in Illinois (as of 5/17/20)

IL COUNTYCASESIL COUNTYCASES
Cook6,133McHenry444
Lake605Kane455
Will600Kankakee96
DuPage1,476St. Clair165

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Legislation

Long-term care facilities have a duty to protect residents and take proactive measures to stop the spread of the coronavirus and other diseases. These facilities may have legal liability during the coronavirus crisis; however, there is pending Federal legislation that may protect nursing homes from lawsuits regarding COVID-19 infections and deaths.  As of May 18, 2020, that litigation is still merely a proposal.  

What Is Considered Negligent Behavior?

Absent such legislation, the most important factor to consider when determining if you have a case against a nursing home or long term care facility regarding a COVID-19 infection is whether the facility and its employees behaved negligently in causing you or your loved one to become infected with the virus.  Negligent behavior is behavior that does not conform to the behavior of a reasonable facility or nursing home employee.  Some potentially negligent behavior might include failing to maintain sanitation; failing to comply with state and CDC regulations; failing to remove or isolate infected residents from the general population; and failing to remove infected or symptomatic employees from the facilities.   

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How Should Nursing Homes Protect Residents?

Nursing homes and long-term care facilities should take broad steps to protect residents including:

  • Restrict visits with exceptions to end-of-life situations, if there are no known cases of the coronavirus within facilities, or its workers
  • Restrict volunteers and non-essentials healthcare providers 
  • Restrict, or some instances, cancel communal dining and other activities
  • Actively screen residents and workers for signs of symptoms 
  • Provide and adhere to recommended infection prevention and control practices
  • Dedicate space in facility to monitor and care for residents with COVID-19 

The facilities should take precautions to ensure that healthcare providers, and any employees of the nursing home, do not come to work if they are ill or experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms.  Nursing homes should further take additional steps to ensure cleanliness and reduce the spread of the virus.  This includes ensuring the facility is cleaned regularly and that workers frequently wash their hands and wear face masks.

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Do I Have a Case Against a Negligent Nursing Home?

Consider the following questions if you suspect a long-term care facility did not follow guidelines to limit the spread of the virus:

  • Did an employee, or others in their home, test positive for coronavirus? 
  • Did an employee exhibit symptoms and was allowed to continue working? Was the employee clearly showing symptoms (cough, running noise, fever, etc)?  
  • Did the nursing home employee’s boss or manager have knowledge of the above? 
  • Were residents, workers and other nursing home employees monitored for symptoms regularly?
  • What protective measures were enforced to prevent the spread? 

Facilities that fail to take reasonable steps to limit spread and/or follow new regulations may be subject to lawsuits. 

Get Help and Discuss the Details of Your Case

If you or a loved one was infected with Covid-19 while staying in an Illinois nursing home, contact the Kryder Law Group, LLC. immediately for your free consultation.  The facts that are specific and unique to your situation will determine whether you are entitled to compensation under the law and whether you can recover monetary damages. It is important to contact our office soon because under Illinois law, there is a limited amount of time to file a lawsuit against the negligent party. We understand how this kind of loss can be incredibly stressful, so please read our positive Google reviews and see how we’ve helped countless others handle similar injuries.

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