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COVID-19 and Nursing Home Negligence in Florida

April 14, 2020

As you are likely aware, senior citizens comprise of one of the most vulnerable demographics of people in Florida when it comes to COVID-19 (Coronavirus) exposure. As such, it is imperative that our seniors receive the highest levels of care and that their safety and best interests are made a top priority to ensure their viability through the present crisis and beyond. Therefore, all nursing homes in Florida shall exercise reasonable care, as defined by Fla. Stat. § 400.023(5), which is the degree of care that a reasonably careful nursing home would use under the present circumstances. Thus, all nursing homes in Florida shall implement measures such as but not limited to screening visitors who enter nursing homes for COVID-19 or exposure to COVID-19, screening employees, agents, contractors and the like who enter nursing homes for COVID-19 or exposure to COVID-19, COVID-19 combative cleaning and disinfecting procedures, all U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Florida Department of Health (FDOH) guidelines such as social distancing and wearing protective gear such as face masks and gloves and all guidelines recommended and/or required by all current state and local orders that are responsive to the COVID-19 epidemic. Additionally, any and all provisions regarding nursing homes in the state or city and county shelter in place and stay home stay safe orders shall be abided by.


Who is Responsible if a Nursing Home Resident Becomes Infected with COVID-19?


A nursing home could potentially have liability if a resident becomes infected with COVID-19, while they are in their facility. A nursing home and its staff can potentially be found liable for negligence that caused a resident to become infected, (for example by not implementing or following protocol, such as the protocol outlined above) or for things, such as not allowing vital healthcare providers into a facility to treat a resident, or not allowing a resident to leave a facility to seek vital healthcare when such treatment could have prevented or mitigated infection. Fla. Stat. § 400.023 permits nursing home residents who are injured or the estates of nursing home residents who become deceased as a result of nursing home negligence to file lawsuits against nursing homes to recover damages for their injuries and wrongful death. However, Fla. Stat. § 400.0233 lays out pre-suit notice, investigation, claim evaluation and mediation procedures that must be completed prior to a nursing home resident or a nursing home resident estate’s ability to file suit arises. While the process can seem overwhelming, it’s important that you contact a Florida Personal Injury Attorney to investigate whether or not you or your loved one may have a valid claim for nursing home negligence where they can recover monetary damages.


Statute of Limitations


Fla. Stat. § 400.0236 states that generally, civil actions of this nature shall be commenced within 2 years from the time the incident giving rise to the action occurred or within 2 years from the time the incident is discovered or should have been discovered with the exercise of due diligence; however, in no event shall the action be commenced later than 4 years from the date of the incident or occurrence out of which the cause of action accrued.


Get Your Case Evaluated


Pursuing Nursing Home Negligence and/or Abuse claims in general can be a convoluted process that can be easily mishandled which can result in minimal or no recovery. We strongly encourage you to seek the advice of a licensed Florida Personal Injury Attorney if you or a loved one has been injured or has become deceased in nursing home negligence case, nursing home abuse case (whether or not related to COVID-19), a car accident, motorcycle accident, boating accident, Jet Ski accident, pedestrian accident, bicycle accident, slip and fall accident, premises liability accident, bus accident or any other type of accident that is caused by another. You could potentially recover damages for medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, property damage and other compensable damages and expenses. At Biazzo Law, we are prepared to negotiate a settlement for you or pursue your case through a jury verdict if warranted. Contact Biazzo Law, the best local injury lawyer today at (561) 939-6300 to schedule your free Personal Injury consultation. This blog is not to be construed as legal advice.



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