What does an investigation into NY’s nursing home reports mean for families?

NY News

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — As we uncover more details about the state’s reporting of COVID-19 deaths in nursing homes, some state lawmakers have called for leaderships change and families are calling for justice.

One legal expert speculates on a potential outcome, and what the investigation could mean for families.  

Families with loved ones in nursing home across New York state are calling for a justice and some elder advocacy groups have called for leadership changes, as the governor’s administration faces accusations that the state miss represented the number of COVID-19 deaths in nursing homes.

“Those families they did need some type of justice brought forward, I would think that Cuomo being held accountable and probably losing his job,” said Tammy Norsen, whose father is a nursing home resident.

The question now is what type of justice. As far as compensation for families, one law expert says that is unlikely since nursing homes were protected from liability during COVID-19 due to a state policy. 

“The general concept of whether or not something was reported would have to be tied into a specific harm to the family and the to the patient, which again during absolute immunity would probably not be viable,” said Robert Brenna JR, Legal expert, Brenna Boyce Law firm.

Changes on a state level and with state policies however are more likely.

“If the investigation reveals that there are corrections to policies and procedures that will better protect our most vulnerable people, than we have to do that,” said Robert Brenna JR, Legal expert, Brenna Boyce Law firm.

Some state lawmakers have made calls for resignation, some even wanting to strip the governor of his emergency powers. It all depends on what is uncovered through the investigation, but families are just hoping it leaders to more protections for their loved ones. 

“Money can’t bring back a lost loved one, it can be a little bit of a way to make it easier, but I think the big thing is Cuomo needs to go,” said Norsen.

The legal experts suggests families talk with an attorney to see what type of claim they could have.

The New York state attorney general also has a website where people can submit fraud claims related to nursing homes.

The investigation in the state’s reporting of COVID-19 death in nursing facilities is ongoing. 

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