Changes in Medical Malpractice Laws for Nursing Homes and Hospitals in New York Due to COVID-19

Changes in Medical Malpractice Laws for Nursing Homes and Hospitals in New York Due to COVID-19

On March 24, 2021, the New York Senate unanimously passed legislation that removes protection for nursing homes and hospitals in New York State against liability for COVID-19 malpractice lawsuits. The legislation is effective immediately. It is important that personal injury attorneys as well as medical malpractice lawyers take note of this. 

Why has this legislation been passed?

New York’s “Emergency Disaster Treatment Protection Act” went into effect with the New York budget in April 2020 which granted extra protections against liability granted to nursing homes, hospitals, and other health care facilities for treating patients during the COVID-19 pandemic. In the context of the pandemic, this Act provided immunity to doctors, nurses, and health care providers from potential liability because of decisions, actions and errors related to the care of people during the COVID-19 pandemic. These protections and immunity have now been repealed with “The Treatment Protection Act” coming into play since March 24, 2021. This decision also comes in light keeping in mind the fact that more than 15000 people have died in nursing homes due to COVID-19. It is important that healthcare staff is held accountable in cases where a death has occurred due to their negligence. Repealing this protection also aims at encouraging transparency and accountability. 

What does this change mean for nursing homes, hospitals and other health care facilities?

The repeal of this protection mandates nursing homes to prominently display informing residents of the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program. Additionally, nursing homes, hospitals and health care facilities are expected by the Department of Health to publish a patient bill of rights in the six most common non-English languages spoken in New York State. Lastly, in order to encourage transparency, this change also alters the review process to change accountable party of the proposals filed with the Public Health and Health Planning Councilregarding the ownership and operation of nursing homes.

What should you keep in mind in case you want to file a medical malpractice lawsuit?

This change in medical malpractice provisions allows people to sue a healthcare worker (doctors / nurses) in case they lose a loved due to COVID-19 or other causes. The protection provided by the Emergency Disaster Protection Act provisions will not apply to the medical malpractice lawsuit anymore. Your medical malpractice attorney can help you navigate through the complexities of the law so that you can get the compensation you deserve.  

If you or someone you know has suffered an injury due to medical negligence and you need the best medical malpractice attorney, contact Siler & Ingber today. Call us on 1-877-529-4343 or complete our online form on this page to schedule a case evaluation with one of our experienced medical malpractice lawyers. Our consultation is free and we do not charge a fee unless we win your case.

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