Has one of your loved ones died from a Coronavirus/COVID-19 infection or complication? If so, we would first and foremost like to express our deepest condolences to you and your family. The challenges presented by this pandemic are hard enough without the loss of a loved one, so we are truly sorry for your loss.
This disease has been taking its heaviest toll on seniors, particularly those living in communal housing such as a nursing home. When a communal living facility agrees to take in your family member as a patient or resident, they assume a duty to provide good care in a safe environment to that person. And just like that facility would have a duty to not negligently spread around so-called normal diseases like the common cold and the flu, both of which can be deadly to an elderly or sick person, that facility would have the same obligation as to Coronavirus/COVID-19. If the facility failed to design, implement or follow a comprehensive and responsible plan to prevent its residents from contracting the disease, they were likely negligent, and as such, are responsible for the harm caused.
California has laws in place for those who are victims of negligently spread diseases and for those who are victims of elder neglect. If the victim is able to survive the illness, the victim holds the right to bring the claim for things like (1) medical expenses, (2) lost income and (3) pain and suffering. If the victim succumbs to the illness and dies, the surviving members of that person’s immediate family hold the right to bring the claim for the loss of their loved one. These cases are known as “Wrongful Death” cases, meaning someone’s negligence caused someone else’s death. The family can receive compensation from the wrongdoer for things like loss of financial support, pain and suffering from loss of a loved one and funeral expenses.
If you would like to discuss a case with one of our attorneys in a free and confidential manner, please do not hesitate to give our office a call.