Federal and State Agencies Launch Investigations into Pennsylvania Nursing Homes
Recently, FBI investigators and officials from the Attorney General’s office raided two Pennsylvania nursing homes where hundreds of residents and employees had tested positive for COVID-19. Both nursing homes in question are located in the Pittsburgh area, operated by the same company, and accused of neglect, fraud, and abuse, especially in regards to violations of proper coronavirus infection protocols during the pandemic.
This negligence affected hundreds of residents and staff members. For instance, the State Department of Health reported that an estimated 447 residents and employees had tested positive for the disease, 73 of whom died, at the Brighton Rehabilitation and Wellness Center alone. Fortunately, it is possible to hold these types of facilities accountable for their failure to provide proper care to and take certain precautions on behalf of residents, so if your own loved one contracted COVID-19 while living in a nursing home, please reach out to a dedicated Wilkes Barre nursing home wrongful death lawyer (COVID-19) to learn more about their legal options.
A Record of Violations
This was not the first time that the nursing homes under investigation had come under scrutiny, as at least one had been written up for lax sanitary conditions only last year, with state inspectors warning the facility that they were at risk of spreading infection and disease. The report, issued in September of 2019, also found that the facility didn’t have enough trained nurses to meet the needs of the residents and identified other repeated deficiencies related to proper infection control, such as:
- Failing to change resident dressings;
- Improperly storing soiled linens;
- Failing to provide appropriate facilities for hand washing;
- Failing to ensure that kitchen tools were thoroughly sanitized;
- Failing to change patient bedding properly; and
- Failing to address unsanitary living conditions.
According to the state report, these deficiencies could significantly increase the risk of cross contamination and the spread of dangerous diseases and infections. In total, state inspectors cited the facility with 19 health citations, a number that is roughly twice the average for long-term care nursing homes in Pennsylvania.
State and Federal Investigations
Both federal and state agencies have initiated investigations into the practices of certain Pennsylvania nursing homes during the pandemic. Amongst the allegations being levied against these facilities are claims that administrators failed to impose infection control procedures as required by state and federal law and that they used controversial drugs to treat residents in an experimental fashion without the necessary approvals. Investigators have also raised concerns about accusations that the facilities in question knowingly accepted patients with COVID-19 and did not provide employees with personal protective equipment, both of which could support the wrongful death claims being filed by the family members of deceased residents and employees.
Schedule a Free Consultation Today
Please call 570-954-9299 to set up an initial meeting with dedicated Pennsylvania nursing home wrongful death lawyer (COVID-19) Keith Figured. You can also reach a member of the legal team at Figured Law Firm by completing one of our online contact forms.