Mississippi’s long-term care facilities, including nursing homes, knew they were facing trouble after learning that the characteristics that put a person at a higher risk for severe illness from the COVID-19 virus were those found in many of the people living in their facilities. And they had every reason to be worried. Shortly after the COVID-19 virus began threatening the U.S., nursing homes not only watched their positive cases climb, but they also saw their death toll rise.
Because the majority of people living in nursing homes are above the age of 65 and/or suffer from underlying health conditions, they were already at a disadvantage. What put them even more at risk of contracting the virus and suffering severe symptoms is that many nursing homes weren’t prepared for an outbreak of this magnitude. In fact, a large number of nursing homes located across the U.S. were previously recognized for having one or more deficiencies, meaning they were already lacking in certain areas prior to the COVID-19 outbreak.
So, what do you get when you take vulnerable residents and couple it with an unprepared facility? You get a disaster.
Nursing Homes Across the U.S. Report More Than 20,000 Deaths Associated with COVID-19
Once the COVID-19 virus made its way into facilities, there was no stopping it. On May 4th, the Chicago Tribune reported that COVID-19 deaths in nursing homes topped 20,000. Because nursing homes knew they would be faced with a flood of lawsuits that would question how the facility responded to the outbreak and whether a resident’s life could have been saved, homes began seeking emergency protection from “claims of inadequate care.”
The news source reported that at least 15 states, including Mississippi, have “enacted laws or governors’ orders that explicitly or apparently provide nursing homes and long-term care facilities some protection from lawsuits arising from the crisis.” The industry is saying that “This was an unprecedented crisis and nursing homes should not be liable for events beyond their control, such as shortages of protective equipment and testing, shifting directives from authorities, and sicknesses that have decimated staffs.”
While it is evident that the medical staff at nursing homes have been faced with an insurmountable amount of pressure and have had to make split-second decisions during this crisis, not all errors are excusable. For example, if certain safety measures weren’t put into place knowing they could have saved a resident’s life or residents were being neglected despite the fact that there were enough health care staff members available to provide adequate care, a facility should face the repercussions for their actions or a lack thereof.
If a loved one of yours suffered a serious medical condition as a result of contracting COVID-19 or they passed away from the virus, the Jackson, MS personal injury lawyers at Ballard Law, PLLC are here to help you understand your legal rights. Although the government has taken certain measures to protect nursing homes from litigation, that doesn’t mean you lose your right to sue.
To learn more about taking legal action against a Mississippi nursing home that has harmed or neglected your loved one, contact our Jackson, MS personal injury attorneys today.
You can reach Ballard Law, PLLC at:
108 S. President Street
Jackson, MS 39201