Originally, the Emergency or Disaster Treatment Protection Act, retroactively effective as of March 7, 2020 implements nursing home immunity from civil or criminal liability for any harm or damages alleged sustained as a result of:
- an act or omissions for services that related to the diagnosis, prevention or treatment of COVID-19
- assessment or care of an individual with confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19
- or the care of any other individual who presents for health services during the period of the COVID-19 emergency declaration.
This immunity does not apply if the harm or damages were caused by an act or omission constituting willful or intentional criminal misconduct, gross negligence, reckless misconduct, or intentional infliction of harm.
However, on July 23, 2020, New York State advanced legislation that would substantially limit health care civil liability immunity. The legislation removed “prevention” from the scope of services subject to immunity. This is significant for nursing homes because it would allow for potential litigation focusing on the measures of prevention a facility took, rather than the care and treatment of the virus.
The legislation is not retroactive, so it does limit the adverse implications. To read the full legislature, please find it here.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding this, please do not hesitate to contact us.