South Carolina – October 21, 2020
According to a recent American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) study, South Carolina had the highest death rate per 100 nursing home residents in September. This analysis includes self-reported data from nursing homes available from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), covering the time frame of Aug. 24 to Sept. 20, 2020, and contains five key measures specific to nursing homes including resident deaths, resident and staff cases per 100 residents, and identified shortages of PPE and staff.
Five point plan to address deficiencies.
The AARP said people are failing the elderly when it comes to the fight against COVID-19 and is calling for the enactment of a five-point plan that includes: prioritizing regular testing and adequate personal protective equipment (PPE) for residents, staff, inspectors and visitors; improve transparency of public reporting of cases and related deaths and provide better communication to families; require access to virtual visits with established timelines with gradual milestones toward in-person visitation; ensure quality care through ample staffing with access to long term care state ombudsmen; and reject immunity for facilities related to COVID-19 treatment.
Duty of care.
Nursing home residents are owed a legal duty of care, as outlined in federal and state laws. Consultation with an experienced attorney about individual nursing home resident cases is advised to determine the duty owed, and the harm encountered, based on that breach. The COVID-19 crisis has left many family members hanging in the balance after losing loved ones because of potential failures in care, and state and federal lawmakers are trying to strike deals for immunity because of the lack of standards of treatment at the disease outset.
South Carolina laws.
South Carolina nursing home facilities have standard operating procedures requiring administrative personnel to protect residents. During the pandemic for example, they are required to take action to isolate sick residents in residential facilities to control disease spread. In accordance with South Carolina Nursing Home Laws (S.C. Code Section 44-7-260), If residents suffer harm directly related to a negative nursing home encounter that exacerbated an existing health condition, or placed them in danger, a skilled lawyer can identify the appropriate duty of care supporting legal action.
Seek legal counsel.
Contact an experienced attorney at the McDougall Law Firm if you, or a loved one suffered injury, or an untimely fatal outcome caused by unsafe nursing home practices, inadequate precautions, and sustained exposure to other sick long-term care residents. They can answer questions related to any immunity laws that might affect a case for damages from harms resulting from South Carolina nursing home or long term care facility care.
McDougall Law Firm, LLC