After the governor denied a request from business leaders last week for blanket immunity for any claims involving people contracting COVID-19 on their property, the first wave of lawsuits has begun. The largest personal injury law firm in Florida is suing two nursing homes in Central Florida where there have been at least 34 deaths so far.
Immunity would have protected any business faced with a lawsuit such as these. That would have allowed these nursing homes to get away with illegal activity, such as falsifying medical records regarding fever levels of patients and failure of the staff to wear N95 masks, causing risk of a massive outbreak. To date, 40% of Florida’s infections are in nursing homes.
Are these Nursing Home Abuse lawsuits just an example of attorneys trying to profit off a crisis or are these lawsuits necessary to force the nursing home industry, and other industries, to comply with basic rules and standards designed to keep invitees safe while on their property? I would suggest the latter.
As this Coronavirus crisis continues, many more such lawsuits will be filed, and many more businesses, not just nursing homes, will beg for help, claiming without protection from these lawsuits, they will go out of business.
I would suggest that these lawsuits must be allowed to go forward. If a nursing home can show that it acted in good faith and attempted to comply with regulations, but an inevitable outbreak occurred anyway, then they will win their case. On the other hand, if they lied, hid evidence and failed to protect residents, nothing, other than the threat of even more lawsuits, will stop them.
Operators usually own more than one facility, and even if one is shut down, they will just move the same method of operation to the next one. We need these lawsuits to protect society from the bad players in all industries, including the nursing home industry, home to our most vulnerable citizens, the elderly.
In our society, personal injury lawsuits serve as the watchdog and enforcer of rules that the government is either unable or unwilling to enforce, even though they know that compliance with these rules is necessary to protect society.
If you or someone you know has a claim against a nursing home, assisted living facility or any other business where injury occurred or an infectious disease was contracted, call the Law Office of Robert E. Gluck, P.A. Robert Gluck has been a civil litigation attorney for over thirty years and can assist you right away at [email protected] or 877-Gluck-law.