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Proposed Law Will Shield Nursing Homes From COVID Lawsuits

Older gentleman wearing a suit

Don’t let the GOP give immunity to the nursing homes that allowed 62,000 people to die of COVID due to greed…

While members of Congress debated a relief package to protect millions of Americans from the devastating economic effects of the pandemic, Mitch McConnell, the Republican Majority Leader of the Senate, was concerned primarily about protecting corporations from COVID-related lawsuits, even when they are grossly negligent. McConnell’s Safe to Work Act would empower nursing homes to continue to endanger the lives of residents and staff by removing the threat of lawsuits, and it would revoke the rights of the families of some 62,000 nursing home residents who have died of COVID under their watch. The death toll in nursing homes will continue to rise if they are not held accountable, but the good news is that you can help stop the Safe to Work legislation.

Senator McConnell would say that the Safe to Work Act is intended to protect businesses from frivolous lawsuits by their employees and customers (despite the fact that these liability protections already exist). What McConnell is really trying to do is to shield business owners and their investors from legitimate COVID lawsuits, including when the company puts lives in jeopardy through its own negligence.

The Law Gives Nursing Homes a License to Kill

In the case of nursing homes, the industry has ignored the warnings of experts for decades with regard to a potential pandemic like COVID. The nursing home industry made a business decision to skimp on staffing, protective equipment, and basic infection controls, to increase profits and with full knowledge of the risks to its vulnerable, elderly residents. Due to the lockdown that kept out visitors and inspectors, it is not fully known what level of chaos and negligence occurred in nursing homes when they were overwhelmed by COVID-19. As of now, we know nursing homes are responsible for 62,000 COVID deaths and counting (roughly 40% of all U.S. COVID deaths), and a massive second wave of COVID deaths is predicted. Will the nursing home industry invest in infection controls or will they simply pin their hopes on Mitch McConnell and the GOP’s Safe to Work Act to shield them from the legal consequences of their deadly and profitable negligence?

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R – KY) seeks to shield nursing home businesses from any COVID-related lawsuits.

“The nursing homes in this country made a fortune by cutting corners in every imaginable way, with total disregard to the death toll that directly resulted from it,” said Leah Barron, a founding partner of Brown & Barron, a Baltimore law firm specializing in the rights of nursing home residents. “Mitch McConnell would like to help them to get away with it, but as citizens, we can contact our members of Congress to let them know we won’t tolerate the Safe to Work legislation, and we’ll remember this come election time.”

The American Board of Trial Advocates released a statement to help citizens understand what the GOP is really trying to accomplish with the Safe to Work Act:

  • Usurps state laws for any claim related to COVID-19.
  • Voids any compensation for retirees, the elderly, children and the disabled, even where the defendant corporation was negligent.
  • Eliminates all claims for negligently harmed patients for at least five years when healthcare providers’ decisions or activities are in any way “impacted as a result of coronavirus.”
  • Gives unfettered power to government at all levels to declare “public health emergencies” and thereby allows employers and businesses to abuse and discriminate against workers without consequence.
  • Requires customers and patients to pay attorneys’ fees of businesses and healthcare providers if they make a claim that is unsuccessful but forces injured persons to pay their own fees even if they prevail in their claim.

Stand up for the most vulnerable members of our society who live in nursing homes. You can help stop the Safe to Work Act by completing this simple online form or by calling your local members of Congress, and telling them to vote NO on the Safe to Work Act (S.4317).

Our attorneys at Brown & Barron, LLC focus on representing nursing home residents who have been neglected or abused. We know first-hand how these facilities function, and just how vulnerable residents are to injuries. If you believe you or a family member has suffered as a result of nursing home negligence, we invite you to contact our team as soon as possible to learn more about your rights and options.

To learn more about how the coronavirus is affecting nursing homes and their residents, visit our COVID Resource Center. To contact our team, call (410) 698-1717 today for a consultation.