As COVID-19 continues to spread quickly throughout Florida, the state’s nursing homes have witnessed unprecedented illnesses related to the virus. During this time, many nursing homes have failed to adequately protect their staff and residents from the viruses’ toll. Although some of the spread is uncontrollable, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) provides regulations and guidance on how these facilities can manage and stop outbreaks. Despite a broad range of immunity that nursing homes and manufacturers of personal protective equipment (PPE) are given during this time, individuals who have suffered because of the negligence of these entities should contact a Florida product liability and nursing home negligence attorney to discuss their rights and remedies.
Recently, a national news source reported on a controversy over inadequate PPE that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) sent to nursing homes to battle the COVID-19 crisis. Nursing homes and long-term assisted living facilities were included as benefactors of an effort to provide healthcare workers with PPE. However, when the facilities received the shipments, they were shocked to discover that the boxes included loose gloves in unmarked plastic bags, outdated surgical masks, and gowns without openings. Health officials advised these facilities to refrain from using the equipment as they are unaware of whether they have been compromised.
FEMA responded to the claims and stated that there were only a few shipments with outdated and ineffective equipment. Additionally, they claimed that the gear does meet federal standards but agreed to contact the private contractor and asked them to provide replacements. The PPE problem highlights the many issues that these facilities and their residents are facing with sufficiently managing the health and safety of their residents.
Like the nursing home industry in Florida, manufacturers and suppliers of drugs, devices, and PPE related to COVID-19 also rallied for protection against lawsuits. The Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness ACT (the Act) provides entities involved in countermeasures to the coronavirus with protection against lawsuits. However, the protection provided by the Act has limitations, and only applies to specific covered businesses, products, and activities. Companies that do not fall under the tort immunity parameters may still face lawsuits for the negligent design, production, and distribution of faulty equipment. Cases stemming from these errors require a thorough understanding of complex product liability, negligence, and governmental immunity laws. It is prudent to contact an attorney to discuss how best to proceed.
Have You Been Injured Due to a Dangerous or Defective Product?
If you or someone you love has been injured as the result of a dangerous or defective product, contact the Florida product liability attorneys at Friedman Rodman Frank & Estrada. Our attorneys possess the skills, knowledge, and training to handle various types of personal injury claims. We have successfully recovered compensation for clients based on nursing home negligence, medical malpractice, premises liability, and products liability. Our attorneys are apprised of the ever-changing and complex laws during this unprecedented time. We use our vast resources to ensure that our clients receive the highest quality representation during their time of need. Contact our office at 877-448-8585, to schedule a free initial consultation with an attorney at our law firm.