According to a story in the Iowa Capital Dispatch, by Clark Kauffman, 6/24/20, titled, “At Iowa nursing home where 11 residents died of COVID-19, employees worked while showing symptoms, inspectors say,” a Dubuque Nursing Home, Dubuque Specialty Care, owned by Care Initiatives, allowed their nursing home employees to continue to care for the elderly despite showing symptoms for Covid-19. The Covid-19 positive nursing home employees did not use personal protective equipment as at all times, and were told by superiors to continue working. Dubuque Specialty Care is owned and managed by Care Initiatives, a West Des Moines corporation that owns 44 care facilities in the state.
Concerns over how nursing home facilities are handling the Covid-19 outbreak are being heard across the nation. Many families of nursing home residents and employees worry about the safety of their loved ones and some are seeking legal remedies when family members are hurt. In fact, recently a Texas family sued a nursing home for gross negligence following the death of a family member from Covid-19 alleging the nursing home failed to screen or provide and implement a prevention control program per CDC guidance, and, subsequent to their family member being infected, provided deficient care, failed to diagnose, and a failed to transfer their family member to a higher level of care ultimately leading to his death.
Sadly, many families across the nation, and in Iowa, are mourning the passing of loved ones who were residents in nursing homes hit hard by Covid-19. In fact, according to the Iowa Department of Health, nearly half of all Covid related deaths in the state involved people who lived in long term care facilities.
Although many states including Iowa have passed legislation to shield health care providers, businesses and operators from many Corona virus related lawsuits, protections only go so far. Nursing homes must follow public health guidance and best practices to keep residents safe. Failure to take the necessary precautions resulting in a nursing home resident being hospitalized or succumbing to Corona illness can lead to nursing home liability.
With so many nursing homes across the country already providing substandard care prior to the pandemic it is not a stretch that many will continue to face legal consequences related to Covid 19 or other incidences of negligence that result in the injury or wrongful death of a resident. If you suspect your family member died as a result of nursing home negligence from Covid-19 or any suspected negligence, it is important to seek help from an experienced nursing home attorney.
Marc Humphrey is passionate about protecting the rights of the underdogs and pursuing justice on behalf of everyday people across Iowa. You can expect diligent, tenacious advocacy and personal, hands-on service. Contact Marc Humphrey for immediate assistance at 515-331-3510.