A family recently filed a personal injury lawsuit against a North Carolina nursing home after an elderly relative became seriously sick with COVID-19. The lawsuit charges the nursing home, called The Citadel-Salisbury, with reckless conduct and negligence due to the actions of the staff. Local health officials have stated that the nursing home is the site of a major COVID-19 outbreak, as more than 140 patients have tested positive for the virus.
What Does the Personal Injury Lawsuit Allege?
The charges state that staff did not adequately track the virus as it spread throughout the home. As a result, the victim and dozens of other elderly residents contracted the virus. When residents got sick, the staff did not keep their family members informed and were difficult to reach for an update.
This personal injury lawsuit mentions that the nursing home had issues even before COVID-19, as conditions inside it were already unsafe and unsanitary according to an inspection in February. For example, the inspection found that the showers were not cleaned for six months in a row. The lawsuit also alleges that the nursing home was not adequately staffed, with call light buttons not being answered for up to three months.
Even the staff of the nursing home have complaints about this environment. They claim they weren’t given the proper personal protection equipment, with no guidance from the corporate office on how to deal with the growing virus.
Negligence Toward Nursing Home Residents
The family members behind this personal injury lawsuit claim they were paying $11,000 per month to get a private room and good care for their elderly relative. But they did not receive that. In fact, they were told she had been moved into a room with a nursing home resident who had tested positive for the virus. At some point, she was also sent to a quarantine hall due to developing a fever and a UTI. Now she is gravely ill with COVID-19.
When she called her son to tell him what was going on, he and other family members tried to contact the nursing home for more information. But they could not get ahold of anyone there to learn more about their loved one’s condition. Instead, they had to hear about the nursing home’s struggle with the COVID-19 spread on the news.
Once the family finally reached someone at the nursing home, they were told that their relative had COVID-19 and they could visit. As they arrived, they were given a face mask and disposable suit with booties, with no gloves. Shortly after they visited their seriously ill relative and saw the conditions at the nursing home, they filed a personal injury lawsuit.
The case accuses the nursing home of injuring the elderly woman by being grossly negligent and failing to use the right resources to take proper care of the residents. It states that the home breached the duty of care during the pandemic, failing to protect its residents from the virus.
As a result, the lawsuit is requesting a jury trial and actual and compensatory damages, as the family suffered more than $25,000 in damages. The lawsuit also requests punitive damages, fees, costs, and possibly interest.
This is just one of many personal injury lawsuits filed due to COVID-19. If you’re thinking of filing your own lawsuit—whether it’s related to this virus or another issue—talk to a Maryland personal injury lawyer today to find out how to get started on your case.
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