Wrongful Death Claim Filed Against Pittsburgh Nursing Home for COVID-19-Related Deaths
In July, the family of a woman who passed away after contracting COVID-19 while working at a Pennsylvania nursing home filed a claim against the facility and its owner for wrongful death. The family claims that the home, which had a history of safety and sanitation problems, failed to provide employees with sufficient protective equipment and also withheld information about the spread of the virus from employees, residents, and their families.
Unfortunately, this will undoubtedly not be the last of the wrongful death claims filed by the relatives of wronged victims in Pennsylvania, so if you are concerned about the conditions of your own loved one’s nursing home facility and have questions about their legal rights, you should consider contacting an experienced Wilkes Barre nursing home wrongful death lawyer (COVID-19) who can advise you.
Allegations of Negligence
According to the complaint, the Pennsylvania nursing home facility that employed the decedent had a history of infection control violations that allowed for the spread of COVID-19 throughout the home, causing the deaths of 80 people and the illnesses of 100 staff members and 350 residents. The deceased’s family also accused the facility’s owners and administrators of:
- Maliciously and intentionally misrepresenting and withholding information from employees and residents about the spread of COVID-19 at the facility;
- Failing to provide access to sufficient protective equipment, such as masks, to employees and residents;
- Failing to plan for the control of infectious diseases and implementing poor hygiene practices;
- Failing to meet federal guidelines regarding staffing levels;
- Failing to implement the proper PPE and protocols at the facility;
- Providing unsafe, unsanitary conditions for residents and staff members; and
- Deceiving state and federal regulatory agencies about the severity of the COVID-19 outbreak at the facility.
In their complaint, the plaintiffs point to the fact that the at-fault nursing home had been cited for deficient and unsafe infection controls on a number of prior occasions. In fact, both state and federal investigators revealed that the facility has been using unclean medical equipment and has failed to keep proper medical records.
In addition to requesting a jury trial, the surviving relatives of the deceased are seeking both compensatory and punitive damages. If successful, the plaintiffs could recover compensation for:
- The deceased’s medical bills;
- Lost wages and future loss of income experienced by the decedent;
- The pain and suffering endured by the deceased;
- The decedent’s funeral and burial costs; and
- The loss of services and companionship experienced by the decedent’s surviving loved ones.
The plaintiffs could also be eligible for punitive damages, which, unlike compensatory damages, are intended to punish the defendant for particularly reckless conduct. Pennsylvania law does, however, cap punitive damages at two times the total amount of compensatory damages awarded to a plaintiff.
Schedule a Free Consultation with an Experienced Wilkes Barre Attorney
If your loved one lives in a nursing home and has contracted COVID-19, please contact the Pennsylvania nursing home wrongful death lawyers (COVID-19) at the Figured Law Firm for help. You can set up a free consultation with a member of our legal team by calling 570-954-9299 or by sending us an online message today.