Nursing Home Negligence and COVID-19

Over the past two weeks, Ontario has successfully reported a decrease in COVID-19 cases. The number of daily new cases ranged from 300 to 350, with a successful decrease in numbers over a four-day period. In the midst of this, a glimmer of hope has surfaced, with the Premier advising that non-essential businesses will gradually re-open.

As much as we deserve praise for our individual efforts to stop the spread of this virus, vulnerable members of our society continue to be affected. Sadly, the province is seeing daily increases in deaths in long-term care facilities, which has resulted in many asking what is going wrong inside these facilities. Experts weighing in on the state of long-term care homes believe the Province can no longer ignore the state of these homes – drastic changes need to be made post-COVID.

Below we will discuss how nursing home negligence lawyers can assist families who have lost loved ones during COVID-19.

The State of Nursing Homes in Canada

The state of nursing homes has been a hot topic of discussion among officials. Some believe operational changes need to be made – considering the outcomes during COVID-19, it is believed that these changes will occur.

It happened behind closed doors, said Carole Estabrooks, a professor in the faculty of nursing at the University of Alberta. Typically, the only people who understood the state of things were those whose loved ones had moved into a long-term care facility Then the pandemic struck, and the deficiencies turned deadly.

“It didn’t just shine a light, it shone a cascade of halogen lights,” said Estabrooks, who has collected data on long-term care for 15 years.

Filing a Suit Against a Nursing Home

The lawyers at Will Davidson LLP have been contacted by many families looking for answers. The firm is investigating cases at homes across Ontario and has filed a statement of claim against Lundy Manor, a home in Niagara Falls, ON.

The claim cites provincial guidance as far back as January 31 that warned long-term care residents were more at risk, and advised greater use of masks and hand sanitizer. The World Health Organization declared a pandemic on March 11. The next day, the suit says, Lundy Manor hosted a girls’ basketball demonstration.

In a recent interview, Gary Will spoke to CBC News: “The owners of Lundy Manor failed to implement policies that were well known and obvious which would have prevented infection and saved lives,” he said.

The Impact of COVID-19 on Nursing Home Residents

In an April 24, 2020 article, National Post reporter Chris Selley recalled the conditions of nursing homes at the beginning of the pandemic. One of the first reported cases of multiple patients testing positive and passing away was at a nursing home in Bobcaygeon, ON. The case attracted public attention after reports about the condition of the residents.

Patients with dementia had slipped into a kind of ‘fugue state,’ a nurse there reported. COVID-19-positive residents shared rooms with healthy ones, she said, because there was nowhere else to put them.

Loved ones on the outside began to question why nothing more was being done for their loved ones. Those patients who were fortunate to be COVID-free were still in harm’s way.

Not all will have passed away in a state of neglect. And while the situation in Canadian nursing homes is certainly tragic, it’s not “unimaginable.” For all kinds of reasons, including higher rates of lung disease and diabetes, elderly people are simply less equipped to fight COVID-19. Housed in close quarters, they are also far more likely to catch it.

How Our Nursing Home Negligence Lawyers Can Help

On March 30, 2020, Ontario Premier Doug Ford spoke of creating an “iron ring” around long-term care homes, which were hit early and hard by COVID-19. Since this statement, many families have buried their aged loved ones. Others have been informed that their loved ones tested positive without adequate explanation.

For those who are looking for answers, contacting a lawyer who specializes in these cases will provide peace of mind. The nursing home negligence lawyers at Will Davidson LLP have been advocating for the rights of Ontarians for over 90 years. The firm is equipped to ask the right questions and hold those responsible accountable. Part of the investigation will be to uncover what the home did or didn’t do to protect your loved ones from this deadly virus. The Ontario government issued several guidelines, and our lawyers will look at whether those guidelines were followed.  

Contact a Nursing Home Negligence Lawyer Today

Unfortunately, until a vaccine is discovered, many within our society will continue to contract this virus. Some will tragically lose their lives. The personal injury lawyers at Will Davidson LLP are committed to representing the families of those who may have lost a loved one at a long-term care facility. If you would like to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation, contact us today to speak to a nursing home negligence specialist. Together we can get the answers you need.

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