Faced with 20,000 dead, care homes seek shield from lawsuits

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A patient is loaded into the back of an ambulance by emergency medical workers outside Cobble Hill Health Center, Friday, April 17, 2020, in the Brooklyn borough of New York. The despair wrought on nursing homes by the coronavirus was laid bare Friday in a state survey identifying numerous New York facilities where multiple patients have died. Nineteen of the state’s nursing homes have each had at least 20 deaths linked to the pandemic. Cobble Hill Health Center was listed as having 55 deaths. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

NEW YORK (AP) — Faced with 20,000 coronavirus deaths, the nation’s nursing homes are pushing to get states to grant them emergency protection from lawsuits alleging inadequate care.

At least 15 states have enacted measures providing nursing homes some protection from lawsuits arising from the crisis.

Now the industry is forging ahead with a campaign to get other states on board.

Their argument is that nursing homes should not be liable for events beyond their control, such as shortages of protective equipment and testing.

Watchdogs and patient advocates argue that lawsuits are the only safety net to keep facilities accountable.  

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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