COVID-19 Negligence at Nursing Homes and Assisted Living Facilities: You May Have a Claim

May 29, 2020
Paul M. da Costa

Did you or your loved one contract COVID-19 at a nursing home or assisted living facility? We are here to help.

To date, New Jersey is battling America’s second highest novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) infection rate.  The virus has resulted in more than 10,000 deaths in the State, of which nearly half have occurred at long-term care facilities such as nursing homes, veterans’ homes, and assisted living facilities.  

This staggering statistic has affected many whom have lost loved ones or have themselves become ill after contracting COVID-19 while living at or visiting a facility.  A legal remedy may be possible.

Protecting High-Risk Groups 

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has identified patients who reside in long-term care facilities as high risk for serious illness or death from COVID-19.  The CDC has published numerous guidelines to be followed to reduce risk—these guidelines are not new but ensuring that facility staff take every measure to follow such guidelines became imperative upon the outbreak of COVID-19.  Nursing homes and assisted living facilities are also subject to numerous regulations of the New Jersey Department of Health and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.   

Similarly, regulations of the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) require employers, including long-term care facilities, to take measures to reduce workplace hazards and risks.  This includes taking measures to ensure workers remain healthy and do not pass viruses and other illnesses to facility residents, thus endangering their health and lives.

When nursing homes and assisted living facilities are not vigilant in strict oversight and compliance, they increase the risk of COVID-19 infection between residents, and between staff and residents, on the one hand, and visitors, on the other hand.   

Lawsuits from COVID-19 Outbreaks at Long-Term Care Facilities 

The legal question of whether a long-term care facility has potential liability would depend on several considerations, including: 

  • Did the facility properly implement guidance, recommendations and legal requirements of state and federal agencies to prevent and control infection?
  • What was the facility’s response to COVID-19? 
  • Was the facility negligent in its management of residents and visitors during the pandemic?

Could a Facility be Responsible for Damages Related to COVID-19?

The facility at which you or your loved one resides potentially could be held responsible for damages you or your loved one suffered as a result of COVID-19.  The types of possible damages include out-of-pocket medical expenses, loss of enjoyment in daily living, pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of ability to provide care and comfort, and other claims.

In this unprecedented time, it is important to have experienced and skilled legal counsel to discuss your questions and assess whether you have a viable claim.  

Contact our Medical Malpractice and Personal Injury Attorneys

If you have suffered illness or injuries or have lost a loved one after contracting COVID-19 at long-term care facilities, please contact Paul M. da Costa, Esq., of Snyder Sarno D’Aniello Maceri & da Costa LLC. You can schedule a consultation via email ( or call 973-274-5200.    

Mr. da Costa has extensive experience representing victims of viral outbreaks at long-term care facilities, including the families whose loved ones suffered from the adenovirus outbreak at a facility in New Jersey and families who have lost loved ones from the COVID-19 outbreak in nursing homes and veterans’ homes