Tom Gallivan, an attorney with the law firm Duffy & Duffy, PLLC, was interviewed by Jay Oliver of LI News Radio (103.9 FM) about the failure of New York nursing home facilities to properly implement infection control protocols ahead of the COVID-19 pandemic, resulting in thousands of deaths of residents.
“There were many facilities — about 20 to 30 — where things got really out of hand, and you could see it in the numbers,” Mr. Gallivan said. “There were many facilities where there were 40 to 100, or maybe more deaths directly related to COVID.”
Mr. Gallivan explained that his firm has filed a series of lawsuits against New York nursing homes on behalf of the families of residents who died as a result of the facilities’ gross negligence and reckless behavior. The lawsuits claim these facilities violated the New York State Public Health Law by failing to adequately train their staff on protocols regarding infection control and emergency preparedness. He also noted the New York State Department of Health warned the nursing homes about the coming pandemic back in February, but they failed to act.
“The Department of Health has gone into numerous facilities already and cited them specifically for failures related to infection control,” Mr. Gallivan said. “Those are eye-opening to us. As deep as April and May, there were staff members who were still not wearing masks.”
The nursing homes also willfully failed to follow the 2016 Final Rule from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the accompanying memorandum from 2019, which required these facilities to adequately train their staff on protocols regarding infection control and emergency preparedness.
“The bottom line is that these nursing homes had the opportunity to prepare, and they didn’t,” Mr. Gallivan said. “They put their own staff and their own residents in harm’s way and, as a result, people died.”