As the COVID-19 pandemic has swept across the country, we have seen that nursing homes have been hit particularly hard when it comes to illnesses and deaths caused by the virus. This is because nursing home residents are particularly at risk of suffering severe effects due to coronavirus. Not only are most nursing home residents elderly, but they are also more likely to have certain conditions that place them more at risk of suffering ill effects due to the virus than the general population.
Many people are wondering whether nursing homes can be held liable for deaths that occur in their facilities due to COVID-19.
Could these be cases of wrongful death?
The first major outbreak of COVID-19 deaths in the US was at a nursing home in Washington state. All told, 43 virus deaths have been attributed to the Life Care Center in a Seattle suburb. Now, a lawsuit has been filed by the daughter of one of the residents who passed away due to COVID-19.
The claim alleges that neglect and negligence led to the death of Twilla Morin. The suit also alleges that employees covered up facts related to the coronavirus outbreak at the facility. The complaint says that the nursing home knew about a respiratory outbreak at the facility in February, but delayed in notifying officials. The facility allegedly failed to have a backup plan in place for when their primary doctor became ill.
How could this affect cases in South Carolina?
The wrongful death lawsuit at the facility in Washington has little bearing on cases here in South Carolina. However, the case is worth watching, and it raises questions about how COVID-19 is handled in nursing homes in this state. There are hundreds of nursing homes in South Carolina, and many here in the Greenville area. According to the state Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC), 23% of the coronavirus deaths in South Carolina have occurred in long-term care facilities.
We are ready to help
If you have lost a loved one in a nursing home and you suspect their death was caused by the negligent actions of nursing home staff, speak to an attorney as soon as possible. You can count on the Dan Pruitt Law Firm to thoroughly investigate your case to determine whether or not you are entitled to any compensation for what happened. You can contact our Greenville nursing home wrongful death attorney for a free consultation today to find out what your next steps should be.