COVID-19 Outbreak in Long-Term Care Homes and Nursing Homes

COVID-19 Outbreak in Long-Term Care Homes and Nursing Homes

The novel coronavirus has ravaged private and government-run long-term care homes and nursing homes, particularly in Canada’s largest provinces, causing a large proportion of the country’s more than 6,000 deaths.

Ongoing Developments in these Facilities

Standards and practices for these facilities have evolved rapidly in Ontario as public health officials respond to the COVID-19 outbreak, with the province now banning staff from working in multiple facilities.

While long-term care homes and nursing homes cannot be blamed for the pandemic, they can and should be held accountable for unnecessary and preventable deaths and illnesses.  In other words, the COVID-19 crisis does not give these facilities carte blanche to neglect their residents and patients.  Long-term care homes and nursing homes will be expected to have acted prudently and reasonably under the circumstances.  It has become apparent that some of them have not.

Determining Fault for Death and Illness in these Facilities

The issue of whether a particular long-term care home or nursing home was negligent during this pandemic will decided in civil court. These courts will be asked to determine the standard of care that long-term care homes and nursing homes will have been expected to meet during the COVID-19 outbreak and whether their actions or omissions led to widespread, avoidable illness and death.  In doing so, the courts will consider recommendations and guidelines issued by the federal and provincial governments, their health ministries, the World Health Organization and other similar entities in assessing whether defendant long-term care homes and nursing homes were negligent. 

Legal Compensation for Family Members of Victims

Family members of victims who died as residents or patients of long-term care homes and nursing homes could be entitled to compensation for loss of care, guidance, and companionship, as well as for damages resulting from economic loss.  In truly egregious cases, these potential plaintiffs could be awarded punitive damages from long-term care homes and nursing homes. 

Conte Jaswal is here to Help

Here at Conte Jaswal Lawyers, we are helping those who suffered the loss of a loved one due to the negligence of a long-term care home or nursing home receive the compensation that they deserve.  If you believe that you lost someone due to the fault of a long-term care home or nursing home, please call us, and we would be glad to help.

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