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What problems can result from excusing liability in a public health emergency?

On Behalf of | Mar 30, 2021 | Firm News |

A public health emergency can bring about many changes in day-to-day life. You may have to wear a mask, certain businesses may close temporarily, and the legal system may operate differently.

Since this type of emergency situation involves a medical crisis, there may be exemptions made for liability in a health care setting. For example, if the medical crisis hits a nursing home, the government may declare all lawsuits against the facility are void due to the situation.

The problem with such legislation is that it can create long-lasting trouble. The American Bar Association explains it opens the door to excusing liability in other situations, which is harmful to patients and staff. It is something well worth paying attention to if you have a loved one in such a facility.

Profit ahead of care

One of the downsides to limiting liability for nursing homes is it allows them to prioritize profits over patients. They do not have any reason to worry about not following protocols or doing things the right way. They no longer have to concern themselves with following the rules because they have immunity against any type of liability claim.

This is a slippery slope and why it is essential for legislatures to enact narrow exceptions in such public health emergencies. It can easily lead to neglect and abuse that would be preventable if things were running normally.

Issues in the future

Many facilities will be reluctant to let go of liability forgiveness. It saves them countless dollars. Because of this, nursing homes may try to get extensions and keep the immunity going long after the public health crisis is over.

Even though the industry has been trying to get such exemptions for decades, it strengthens the case because it has played out. They have stronger evidence of the benefits and will use them in the future to argue for less liability.

Removing accountability from long-term care facilities is something you want to note because it could place your loved one in a bad situation. You can help by monitoring your loved one the best you can and staying on top of his or her care.