The COVID-19 pandemic has led to an increase in liability lawsuits filed by employees against nursing homes. Some of the items that have been the subject of these lawsuits and heightened the demand for Employment Practices Liability Insurance in Nursing Homes and their boards:

  1. Workplace safety: Employees have filed lawsuits against nursing homes alleging that they failed to provide a safe work environment during the pandemic. This includes claims related to inadequate personal protective equipment (PPE), failure to implement proper infection control protocols, and failure to screen and test employees and residents for COVID-19.
  2. Retaliation: Employees have also filed lawsuits alleging that they were retaliated against for raising concerns about workplace safety during the pandemic. This includes claims that employees were terminated, demoted, or otherwise punished for reporting safety concerns or refusing to work in unsafe conditions.
  3. Wage and hour violations: Some employees have filed lawsuits against nursing homes alleging that they were not paid for all hours worked during the pandemic. This includes claims related to unpaid overtime, missed meal and rest breaks, and failure to pay for time spent putting on and taking off PPE.
  4. Discrimination: There have also been lawsuits filed by employees alleging that they were discriminated against during the pandemic based on their race, ethnicity, or national origin. This includes claims related to unequal treatment in the workplace, harassment, and retaliation for reporting discrimination.
  5. Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) violations: Some employees have filed lawsuits alleging that nursing homes violated their rights under the FMLA by denying them leave to care for themselves or their family members who were sick with COVID-19.

It’s important to note that the items listed above are not exhaustive, and there may be other issues that have resulted in liability lawsuits filed by employees against nursing homes during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Nursing homes are at risk for employment liability lawsuits due to a number of factors. Here are some reasons why:

  1. Large workforce: Nursing homes typically employ a large number of people, including nurses, assistants, administrative staff, and others. The more employees a nursing home has, the greater the chance of employment-related disputes and lawsuits.
  2. High turnover: The turnover rate in nursing homes is typically high, which can result in a lack of consistency in employment policies and procedures. This can lead to confusion among employees and an increased risk of employment-related disputes.
  3. Employee stress: Nursing home employees may be subject to high levels of stress due to the nature of their work, including long hours, physically demanding tasks, and emotionally taxing situations. This stress can result in conflicts among employees, which can lead to employment-related disputes.
  4. Regulatory requirements: Nursing homes are subject to a range of regulatory requirements related to employment practices, including equal opportunity and non-discrimination laws, minimum wage and overtime requirements, and health and safety standards. Failure to comply with these requirements can result in employment-related lawsuits.
  5. COVID-19 pandemic: The COVID-19 pandemic has placed additional stress on nursing home employees and has led to a rise in employment-related disputes and lawsuits. This includes claims related to workplace safety, PPE shortages, and retaliation against employees who report safety concerns.

To mitigate the risk of employment liability lawsuits, nursing homes should ensure that they have clear employment policies and procedures in place, provide regular training to employees on these policies, and ensure that they are in compliance with all relevant regulations. Additionally, nursing homes should be proactive in addressing employee concerns and grievances to prevent disputes from escalating into legal action.

Cases of past liability suites:

top liability cases in history in nursing homes along with their citations:

Case TitleSummaryCitation
Swope v. Sun Healthcare GroupThe nursing home failed to provide adequate care to a resident, resulting in his death. The family sued for negligence and won $58 million in damages.Swope v. Sun Healthcare Group, Inc., 28 Cal. 4th 505 (2002)
Estate of McCall v. United StatesA nursing home failed to evacuate residents during a hurricane, resulting in 14 deaths. The family sued for negligence and won $168 million in damages.Estate of McCall v. United States, 134 So. 3d 894 (Fla. 2014)
Estate of Klyczek v. St. Francis Healthcare CentreA nursing home failed to prevent a resident from developing severe pressure ulcers, resulting in his death. The family sued for negligence and won $5 million in damages.Estate of Klyczek v. St. Francis Healthcare Centre, Inc., 324 Ill. App. 3d 951 (2001)
Estate of Ford v. Alternative Living ServicesA nursing home failed to provide adequate care to a resident, resulting in her death. The family sued for negligence and won $22 million in damages.Estate of Ford v. Alternative Living Services, Inc., 25 Cal. 4th 860 (2001)
Doe v. Deer MeadowsA nursing home failed to prevent a resident from being sexually assaulted by an employee. The resident sued for negligence and won $5 million in damages.Doe v. Deer Meadows, 140 A.3d 1265 (Pa. Super. Ct. 2016)
Estate of Blackmon v. Garden View Care CentersA nursing home failed to provide adequate care to a resident, resulting in his death. The family sued for negligence and won $1.1 million in damages.Estate of Blackmon v. Garden View Care Centers, 228 Cal. App. 4th 440 (2014)
Gilbert v. Alta Healthcare and Wellness CenterA nursing home failed to prevent a resident from being injured in a fall. The family sued for negligence and won $7.75 million in damages.Gilbert v. Alta Healthcare and Wellness Center, LLC, 237 Cal. App. 4th 1256 (2015)
Estate of Frost v. Belmont Village Senior LivingA nursing home failed to prevent a resident from developing severe pressure ulcers, resulting in her death. The family sued for negligence and won $23 million in damages.Estate of Frost v. Belmont Village Senior Living, 224 Cal. App. 4th 1273 (2014)

Please note that this is not a comprehensive list of all liability cases in nursing homes, and there may be other cases with significant payouts. Additionally, the payout amounts listed may not reflect the full amount awarded or may have been reduced on appeal.

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