Families Sue Nursing Home due to Negligence in Death from COVID: The lawsuit alleges nursing home neglect led to the rampant infection of the coronavirus that caused their loved ones’ wrongful death.

A new lawsuit brought by 16 families of loved ones who died during a 2020 surge of COVID-19 at a New Jersey nursing home brings accusations of gross negligence, wrongful death, and medical malpractice, says an article in the New Jersey Herald. According to the article, the suit filed in Sussex County Superior Court in early April claims that the Woodland Behavioral and Nursing Center and Limecrest Subacute and Rehabilitation Center (previously known as Andover Subacute & Rehabilitation I & II) could have prevented residents’ deaths by implementing nursing home infection protocols. The complaint also claims that medical services performed “negligently and carelessly” contributed to the wrongful deaths of the facility’s COVID patients.

The sister homes first came under scrutiny in early spring of 2020, when the bodies of 17 victims of COVID-19 were found crammed into a morgue meant for no more than four bodies. By April of that year, more than 90 residents had died at these facilities.

According to the article, the suit outlines the following examples of nursing home negligence that allowed for extensive nursing home COVID infections in the spring of 2020, as well as illustrations of medical malpractice that contributed to residents’ wrongful death:

  • Failure to issue the proper PPE to employees, or to require masks for visitors, housekeepers, recreation therapists, or nursing assistants
  • Permitting employees and visitors to enter the facility without first taking their temperature
  • Failure of doctors, nurses, physician’s assistants, and nurse practitioners to sufficiently deliver ordinary care or exercise a degree of skill while caring for sick patients
  • Failure of medical providers to make timely diagnoses of, or to properly treat, residents with COVID
  • Failure of medical providers to provide explanations to residents infected with COVID of the risks posed to them or the options available to them

Woodland meanwhile faces a host of challenges related to quality-of-care non-compliance. In February federal officials placed the home in an “immediate jeopardy” situation when facility workers were found to have committed acts consistent with nursing home abuse and neglect that jeopardized residents’ lives. The home was already in danger of losing federal funding due to poor quality of care; actions made by Woodland to improve matters preserved both federal funding and the facility’s license for now, although the termination of a provider agreement by authorities may proceed if more actions aren’t taken.

Many families sue this nursing home due to negligence in death from COVID; beyond the 16 families named in the suit, 50 additional families seek to join as class members if the complaint is certified by a judge as class action, the article says. Meanwhile, two other lawsuits against Woodland remain active in Sussex County Superior Court.

Seeking to Secure Your Loved One’s Safety

Your loved one’s Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, or New Jersey nursing home is required to meet every criterion in matters of hygiene as well as all other qualifications for safety. If you’re concerned about the quality of a Philadelphia/PA or NJ facility or you suspect neglect or abuse has occurred at the Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, or New Jersey nursing home where your loved one lives, please contact nursing home abuse attorney Brian P. Murphy to discover your legal rights and options.