New York Legislators Seek to Establish $4 Billion Nursing Home Victims Compensation Fund
Queens Assemblyman Ron Kim is the sponsor of a bill that will establish a large nursing home victims compensation fund. The legislation, if passed, will open the door to financial relief for families of the approximately 15,000 individuals who died in NY nursing homes during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The legislation is called “The Justice For Nursing Home Victims Act” and will, according to the New York Post, “allow families to submit applications to a nursing home victims compensation board and receive payments from the state.” The relief aims to compensate families of “those who died after contracting Covid-19 in nursing homes.”
The bill is similar to the legislation that created the Sept 11 Victims Compensation Fund. The “9/11 Fund” provides financial assistance to victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, including those that are suffering from long-term health problems caused by the collapse of the World Trade Center and the toxic air that lingered in lower Manhattan.
How Much Can You Receive From the Nursing Home Victims Compensation Fund?
Eligible families would have to submit applications to the board in charge of overseeing the fund and awarding distributions. Victims would then receive the payments from the state. The exact criteria for eligibility are not yet clear.
Kim stated that families would be eligible for at least $250,000 for every loved one who died of Covid-19 in a nursing home. Spouses and dependents, Kim added, will each be able to collect a minimum payout of $100,000. Legislators would like the fund to contain 4 billion dollars, although what part of the NY State Budget that money will come from is unclear at this time.
Why Do Legislators Want A New York Nursing Home Victims Compensation Fund?
Covid-19-related nursing home deaths have been a source of controversy in New York since the start of the pandemic in March 2020.
Many people, including NY Attorney General Letitia James, believe that the number of nursing home residents who died from Covid-19 has been seriously unreported and manipulated. Some of former Governor Cuomo’s aides admitted to withholding data from the federal government.
Many of these deaths, according to angry family members and legislators, resulted from bad policies and practices implemented by then-Governor Cuomo.
For example, the governor issued an order that prevented nursing homes from refusing to admit or readmit Covid-19 patients and prohibited nursing homes from testing them. Although he repealed the order after a few months, experts say this policy alone resulted in up to 1000 preventable deaths.
Additionally, a provision “snuck” into the state budget granted nursing homes and their employees immunity from negligence suits related to Covid-19. This controversial “Emergency or Disaster Treatment Protection Act” was subsequently repealed as well.
New York Legislation Seeks to Prevent Future Nursing Home Negligence
In addition to establishing the victim compensation fund, the bill would extend the statute of limitations to file personal injury claims against nursing homes for covid-19 related deaths.
NY Legislators supporting the bill clearly believe that the families of nursing home residents who were put in danger and died by these “bad” policies deserve the opportunity to seek compensation from the fund or by being allowed ample time to file civil claims.
Assemblyman Kim stated that at the height of the pandemic, the government’s motivation was protecting nursing home industry profits over lives. Kim suggests that nursing homes and long-term care facilities had financial incentives to commit “eldercide” during the pandemic. Through this bill, Kim hopes to put an end to such bad practices and make it prohibitively expensive for New York nursing homes to harm their residents.
Call Alonso Krangle, LLP, If Your Loved One Suffered Harm in a New York Nursing Home
If you have a loved one or family member who died from Covid-19 while they were residents of a nursing home, you might be eligible to collect compensation. Reports suggest that the death toll of coronavirus patients who lived in long-term care facilities is greater than we think. Negligence might be to blame. Ask yourself:
- Did someone I love who lived in a nursing home die of Covid-19 in the home or a hospital?
- Did they receive adequate care?
- Were they placed in danger because of the policies and practices of the nursing home?
- Were they neglected?
Consider your answers and then call our today at 800-403-6191 to find out if you are entitled to receive compensation for the Covid-19 related death of your loved one, who was a nursing home resident. Call now to schedule a free review of your nursing home negligence claim and find out if you are eligible to seek compensation.