Do Nursing Homes in California Have Legal Immunity?
Over the last year or so, there has been an active discussion about the concept of legal immunity for nursing homes across the United States. If you have been paying attention to the news, you probably already know why. COVID-19 has raised all kinds of issues for long-term care facilities in California and across the nation. Inadequacies, blind spots, and serious safety concerns have all been brought to light. The COVID-19 pandemic disproportionately affected elderly people in nursing homes, and questions were raised about whether these facilities were acting in the best interest of their residents.
What makes this even more of an issue is the fact that many states offered nursing homes legal immunity while elderly people were dying due to problematic safety protocols. While this is certainly a controversial issue, only a few states have withheld this immunity. In the context of COVID-19, legal immunity for nursing homes is definitely the norm in the United States today.
If your loved one has passed away due to mishandling of the COVID-19 pandemic or any other reason in Oakland, it makes sense to consult with a qualified, experienced personal injury attorney in California. With the help of one of these legal experts, you can hold negligent parties accountable and receive compensation for your damages. You can also take legal action against nursing homes if you are currently a resident who has suffered abuse. It is always best to enlist the help of an attorney who specializes in these matters rather than a legal professional who might not have intimate knowledge of the relevant laws and factors.
What is Legal Immunity?
Legal immunity is when entities are immune from being held accountable for their actions in a court of law. In the context of nursing homes during the pandemic, it means that these facilities cannot be sued for damages suffered by victims – including wrongful deaths. It is extremely rare for the United States to offer blanket immunity to an entity, and this typically only occurs under extreme circumstances, like during an emergency or a war.
Nursing Homes in California Were Not Given Immunity During the Pandemic
Rest assured that California did not give its nursing homes legal immunity during the pandemic. Along with Florida, California was one of the few states in the nation to do this. Elderly individuals and family members across many other states were left with no options to recover damages, and this has been viewed as a tragic and controversial byproduct of the pandemic.
There have even been accusations of corruption among US politicians who offered immunity to nursing homes, especially “for-profit” facilities. One of the most notable figures who has come under scrutiny is Governor Cuomo of New Jersey, who ostensibly accepted $1.5 billion in political contributions from lobbyists while he protected their for-profit facilities from lawsuits. Cuomo has also been accused of grossly mismanaging the pandemic in New Jersey, particularly in regards to his treatment of elderly people in nursing homes.
Thankfully, politicians in California chose another route. As early as 2020, it was reported that Governor Gavin Newsom was strongly opposed to giving facilities legal immunity. State lawmakers shared his opinion, and the move was generally celebrated across California. This came after hospitals and nursing homes formally requested that Newsom grant them legal immunity from lawsuits and criminal prosecution for decisions made during the COVID-19 crisis. Newsom stressed that there was evidence of “gross violations,” and that the most vulnerable members of California’s population should be protected.
Vaccine Companies are Still Immune From Lawsuits
With all that said, it is important to note that not some healthcare companies have indeed been granted legal immunity, and this applies in California. All of the manufacturers of various COVID-19 vaccines have been granted “blanked immunity” by the US government, which means that you cannot sue them for any side-effects, including death.
When Can You Sue?
It is also important to note that aside from matters related to COVID-19, there are plenty of other situations in which someone can sue a nursing home. Whenever there is evidence of neglect and abuse, these facilities open themselves up to the possibility of a lawsuit. To receive compensation, you will need to rely on a qualified, experienced attorney who can prove that the at-fault party was negligent.
Enlist the Help of a Qualified Attorney Today
If you are ready to hold nursing homes accountable, reach out to Mary Alexander & Associates as soon as possible. The statute of limitations makes it important to resolve this matter as soon as possible, so do not delay. If you live in California, you can still sue nursing homes for mishandling the COVID-19 pandemic. Our state has not given these facilities legal immunity, which means that you can hold them accountable in a court of law. Reach out today, and we can develop an action plan together.