Nursing Home Liability in the Wake of a Pandemic
Placing your loved one in the care of a nursing home is one of the toughest decisions families face across Louisiana and the United States.
Nursing homes are entrusted with the care and health of your family members when you are unable to do so.
Tasked with providing 24/7 care to numerous patients, many nursing homes are not up to the task.
LOUISIANA COVID-19 NURSING HOME STATISTICS
Louisiana has quickly become one of the hot spots in the country for COVID-19 outbreaks.
Nursing homes have sadly been at the forefront of this story.
As of April 16, 2020, 275 COVID-19 deaths and 1,320 COVID-19 cases have been reported among residents of Louisiana nursing homes.
Sadly, the number of cases is likely to rise.
A NURSING HOME MUST TAKE PRECAUTIONS TO AVOID THE SPREAD OF DISEASE AMONG RESIDENTS
Nursing homes must provide their residents with a high degree of care.
The standard of care owed to residents is enumerated in numerous regulations and other legislation including Louisiana Revised Statute 40:2010.8, the Louisiana Nursing Home Residents Bill of Rights.
These laws require nursing homes in Louisiana to look out for the best interests of their residents and provide specific guidelines for the health, safety, and treatment of residents.
One of the most important guidelines is the right to be immediately informed of any significant change in health status including threats to one’s health.
All long-term care facilities are required to maintain an infection prevention and control program designed to provide a safe, sanitary, and comfortable environment that helps prevent the development and transmission of communicable diseases and infections.
Shockingly, as much as 63% of these facilities have been cited for one or more infection-control deficiencies dating back to 2016.
Indeed, even those facilities with a five-star government rating had a 40% failure rate.
In addition to these specific requirements, nursing homes must provide a high degree of care and treatment to their residents.
Nursing homes and long-term care facilities are considered medical providers subject to the standard of care requirements under the Louisiana Medical Malpractice Act.
A nursing home must provide care to its residents that are necessary and reasonable under the circumstances.
These circumstances include taking necessary precautions to avoid harm to residents in the wake of a pandemic.
Failure to comply with the standard of care could make the nursing home legally responsible for a loved one’s injuries or death.
Sadly, some seniors may have fallen victim to nursing home neglect during the COVID-19 pandemic. Nursing homes across the United States and in Louisiana have failed to disclose the existence and extent of COVID-19 cases within their facilities.
Only recently has the government instructed these facilities to timely report confirmed cases of COVID-19 to residents, family members and the government, even though these facilities should have already taken necessary precautions to prevent COVID-19 from spreading.
LOUISIANA COVID-19 CLUSTERS IN LONG-TERM CARE FACILITIES
Long-term care facilities’ failure to maintain an effective infection prevention and control program has resulted in at least 47 COVID-19 clusters in Louisiana long-term care facilities.
The reality is that the number of COVID-19 clusters at long-term care facilities is likely much higher than reported as the Louisiana Department of Health stopped reporting new clusters on April 7, 2020.
As of the last report by LDH, the following 47 Louisiana facilities were reported to be COVID-19 clusters:
- Bayside Health
- Chateau de Notre Dame
- Chateau Living Center
- Good Samaritan Rehab and Nursing Center
- Inspired Living Kenner
- Jefferson Healthcare
- Jo Ellen Smith Living Center
- John Berchmans
- Lambeth House
- Marrero Health Care Center
- Metairie Healthcare
- Nouveau Marc
- Poydras Home
- River Palm Nursing and Rehab
- Riverbend Nursing and Rehab
- Saint Jude’s Nursing Home
- Saint Martin’s Manor
- St Anthony’s Nursing Home
- St Francis Villa Assisted Living
- St Joseph of Harahan
- The Suites at Algiers Point
- Vista Shores Assisted Living
- Chateau D’Ville Rehab and Retirement
- Flannery Oaks Guest House
- Haven’s Gateway Personal Care Facility Inc.
- Lakeview Manor Nursing Home
- Legacy Nursing and Rehabilitation
- Legacy Nursing and Rehabilitation of Port Allen
- Ollie Steele Burden Manor Nursing Home
- St. James Place – Highland Court Nursing Home
- Chateau Saint James
- Luling Living Center
- Ormond Nursing and Care Center
- South East Louisiana Veterans Home
- Colonial Nursing Home
- Evergreen Life Services
- Brookdale Shreveport Assisted Living
- Montclair Park Assisted Living Center
- Vivian Healthcare Center
- Cherry Ridge Skilled Nursing Facility
- Belle Maison
- Forest Manor Nursing and Rehabilitation Center
- Green Briar Community Care
- Guesthouse of Slidell Nursing Home
- Oak Park Village
- Pontchartrain Health Care
- St. Anthony’s Gardens
WHAT TO DO IF YOUR LOVED ONE WAS INJURED THROUGH NURSING HOME NEGLECT?
It is clear that nursing homes throughout Louisiana have failed to meet their obligations to their residents putting thousands in danger.
Many facilities were not in compliance with their legal obligation to take reasonable precautions to avoid the spread of communicable diseases.
If you or a loved one is in a long-term care facility, have been exposed to COVID-19, or are concerned about potential exposure, you are not alone.
We here at The Johns Law Firm are here to help protect you and your family and seek redress for your injuries.
We are here 24/7 to assist our clients.