Nursing Home Responsible for Adenovirus Outbreak
A recent federal report regarding an outbreak at a New Jersey nursing home highlighted several disturbing failures on the part of the nursing home staff. Between 09/26/2018 and 12/11/2018, over 33 children and 1 staff member were sickened by adenovirus, ultimately resulting in the deaths of 11 of the sickened children. According to the report, the pediatric medical director of the nursing home told inspectors that, amongst other things, he was unaware of how someone in his position was supposed to react to the outbreak. The nursing home claims the report is inaccurate and denies any delayed treatment contributed to the tragedies.
I find it shocking that the facility would not have any policies or procedures in place to deal with such an outbreak, especially considering the facility is responsible for the care of a vulnerable population highly susceptible to illness. In agreeing to accept a patient, the nursing home assumed certain obligations owed to the patient, including providing proper medical care, supervision and/or observation of the residents, and safe living accommodations. The complete lack of a protocol for a scenario of this sort would constitute evidence of negligence, and the statements attributed to the pediatric medical director are damning admissions against the nursing home.
Civil cases arising from these circumstances may also encompass claims against any independent medical practitioners that may have also been responsible for the care and conditions in which the minor children were living. It is important to speak with an experienced attorney about your particular situation in order to obtain a broad view of who may be held liable in a civil case for the harms suffered.