Senate Bill 74, which was filed last week, would grant immunity from COVID-19 lawsuits to nursing homes, hospitals, and doctors. AARP Florida is pressing Legislature members to oppose this bill. Source.
Senator Jeff Brandes of St. Petersburg introduced the bill, claiming that many nursing homes do not have insurance that covers pandemics, and would go bankrupt if they had to settle in a lawsuit. Additionally, Brandes stated that “you may get one of these suits settled, but by that time if they get 10 of them, they’re just going to file bankruptcy” leaving those filing the lawsuits with nothing.
Jeff Johnson, state director for AARP, stated that the proposed bill would “further erode the rights of older Floridians to seek redress for negligence and abuses endured in these facilities during the COVID-19 pandemic.” Throughout the pandemic, confidence in Florida’s long-term care facilities has been at an all-time low, and this bill has the potential to make things worse by letting nursing homes “off the hook” for neglect and abuse during the pandemic.
The COVID-19 death toll in nursing homes and long-term care facilities has been a “national disgrace” with over 9,000 resident deaths so far without family members at their side. Johnson said AARP Florida is encouraging the state to look for new forms of long-term care, stating that “We will never stop fighting for our members and all Floridians who use long-term care facilities” and that “They deserve better, and this legislation is a shameful step backward.”
Throughout this pandemic, nursing home abuse has been a major concern. From the inability to visit, and therefore check up on loved ones, to the lack of use of personal protective equipment by staff members, nursing home residents have been put at an even greater risk of contracting COVID-19.
The personal injury attorneys at Beltz & Beltz will fight to get justice for your loved ones if they have been the victim of nursing home abuse or neglect. It is imperative that we fight this bill so that we can continue representing nursing home residents when they have been wronged. Contact Beltz & Beltz today if your loved one has been abused in a nursing home and needs legal representation.
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