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New Jersey Medical Malpractice COVID-19 Cases and Medical Negligence COVID-19 Cases. 


Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, it has become apparent that many facilities are not well equipped to handle such outbreaks. Healthcare facilities are understocked on supplies and many are unable to provide healthcare professionals with the proper safety equipment to protect themselves. Additionally, many long term care facilities, nursing homes and hospices are failing to prevent the spread of COVID-19 internally and are unable to provide the proper treatment to those infected. The appropriate safety measures were not universally implemented for such a pandemic and while many have learned to adapt quickly, it is clear that new regulations need to be investigated. The existing systems and regulations failed to properly protect their workers, patients and the families who relied on them to handle the coronavirus.

Photo of a patient in a hospital bed
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Numerous facilities have been left unable to provide their healthcare workers the proper protective gear to shield themselves from harm while they work tirelessly to treat and prevent the virus. How can a society maintain and fight a pandemic when the most valuable members of our team, healthcare workers and emergency responders, are being neglected and forced to risk their own lives?

 

Measures should have been in place to ensure the health and safety of these individuals were prioritized. Healthcare workers and first responders have continuously stepped up to the plate; they have worked around the clock, fighting against the spread of COVID-19. Many in which worked extended hours in facilities that were overwhelmed with cases. These workers continued to show up and continue to treat and take preventative care, even without the proper materials to ensure their own safety. Measures need to be taken to ensure that their efforts are recognized and that their safety remains the utmost priority in the future.

 

Additionally, what about the patients of these facilities? What about the families who entrusted the lives of their loved ones to the facilities that are failing to take the appropriate measures? COVID-19 is spreading rapidly through facilities that are underprepared. These patients and their families were expecting strict health and safety codes but are receiving long term care where the safety equipment, supplies and medical devices were too sparse to provide to all patients. 

 

The truth is, whether you are a healthcare worker, first responder or patient, the proper safety measures were not taken prior to the outbreak in many facilities. A reevaluation needs to be made for future pandemics, we must work together to ensure that we are more prepared when something similar comes along. As a result of COVID-19 and the existing medical regulations, the health and safety of our loved ones were jeopardized. There is a great deal of reform that needs to be done to ensure no more innocent lives are lost due to negligence. We need to prevent and protect broken systems from perpetuating the spread of the virus and others in the future.

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Partner, Paul M. da Costa, Esq., was recently retained by the family of an 83-year-old woman who died at the Andover Subacute & Rehab facility. On April 13, 2020, the Andover police department received an anonymous tip regarding a body being stored in a shed outside the facility. By the time the Andover police arrived on the scene to investigate, the body had been moved from within the shed, however, upon inspection of the facility officers found seventeen bodies of deceased patients piled up in a small morgue meant to store no more than four bodies. 

 

Paul’s representation of the decedent’s family follows his ongoing representation of another high-profile matter that gained national media attention involving an Adenovirus outbreak at The Wanaque Center for Nursing & Rehabilitation where thirty-six pediatric patients were infected and eleven ultimate passed away from the virus.  Paul testified before the NJ Senate Health Committee in December 2018 at a hearing focused on the Adenovirus outbreak.  He currently represents twelve families/children relating to the Adenovirus outbreak.


The facility still cares for many patients. “Of the patients who remain at the homes, housed in two buildings, 76 have tested positive for the virus; 41 staff members, including an administrator, are sick with Covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus,” according to a recent New York Times article. The article goes on to say the facility recently experienced 68 deaths between the two buildings, 25 of which tested positive for COVID-19. Included in the 68 deaths were two nurses who worked at the facility. While reports on the exact body count are varying at this time it’s clear the coronavirus has taken its toll in the facility.

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