Photo Credit: The Lighting Judge
The COVID-19 coronavirus continues to plague Texas nursing homes, with the state reporting more than 681 resident deaths in the San Antonio region and nearly 2,391 statewide as of August 5.
As of July 22, the state reported 86 resident deaths caused by COVID-19 at 22 Bexar County nursing homes. Thirty-two nursing homes out of 68 in Bexar County (47.8%) reported at least one resident having had the coronavirus. State records also show 385 cumulative cases of COVID-19 among nursing home employees of San Antonio and Bexar County facilities as of July 22.
The Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) provides daily totals of COVID-19 cases as self-reported by nursing homes, assisted living facilities and state hospitals and state supported living centers.
As of July 29, there were 2,008 nursing home resident deaths statewide due to COVID-19 and 524 in the 47-county South Texas HHS region containing San Antonio and Bexar County. The increase as of August 5 represents a 30% increase in nursing home fatalities in the South Texas region.
Among Bexar County nursing homes with the most resident deaths due to COVID-19 are:
- Southeast Nursing & Rehabilitation Center, 4302 Southcross Blvd., San Antonio – 18 deaths and 77 cases among residents
- Sonterra Health Center, 18514 Sonterra Place, San Antonio – 11 deaths and 92 cases among residents
- Heritage Nursing & Rehabilitation, 5437 Eisenhauer Road, San Antonio – 8 deaths and 39 cases among residents
- River City Care Center, 921 Nolan St., San Antonio – 8 deaths and 173 cases among residents
- Windsor Mission Oaks, 3030 S. Roosevelt Ave., San Antonio – 8 deaths and 126 cases among residents
Suing Nursing Home Over Coronavirus Deaths
We’ve reported previously that the large number of COVID-19 deaths in nursing homes make numerous wrongful death lawsuits against nursing homes and long-term care facilities likely in the coming months.
If your loved one has died of COVID-19 while a resident or employee of a nursing home or assisted living facility in Texas, you have every right to explore the potential for filing a wrongful death lawsuit.
A successful wrongful death claim based on a death related to COVID-19 contracted in a nursing home would require evidence that showed:
- The owners of the nursing home (through their staff) were negligent in their use of safety protocols to guard against COVID-19 infections, such as failing to implement adequate quarantine and/or personal hygiene procedures, failing to issue or enforce the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) and/or inadequate cleaning of the facility
- The owners’ negligence represents a breach of their duty to provide a standard of care that keep residents healthy and safe from communicable disease outbreaks
- The owners’ negligence led to harm, i.e., your loved one contracting COVID-19
- Contracting COVID-19 caused specific, concrete physical and/or emotional harm, financial harm and, finally, the death of your loved one
- The harm that your loved one and you suffered are compensable.
While no amount of money can alleviate the loss of life, Texas personal injury law says the victim of wrongful death due to someone else’s negligence can seek compensation, or damages, for certain losses.
Compensations for the victim of wrongful death may include:
- Medical expenses
- Funeral and burial expenses
- The deceased’s pain and suffering
- Survivors’ mental and emotional pain and suffering
- Survivors’ loss of comfort and companionship.
Nursing homes in San Antonio and all of Texas have known or should have known what is required to deal with COVID-19, including how to prevent it from entering a nursing home and how to isolate it if it is found.
Most nursing homes participate in Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement programs for providing care to residents, which makes them obligated to comply with federal guidelines pertaining to the coronavirus pandemic. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued specific recommendations to nursing homes to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
Additionally, the Texas HHSC published a 78-page booklet in April to provide guidance to state nursing facilities about how to respond to a COVID-19 exposure. It has been updated numerous times, including as recently as July 27.
The updated guidance to state nursing facilities addresses the following:
- Rapid identification of COVID-19 in a nursing facility
- Prevention of spread within the facility
- Protection of residents, staff and visitors
- Provision of care for an infected resident(s)
- Recovery from a COVID-19 infection within a nursing facility.
What the nursing home neglect attorneys at Herrman & Herrman have found in our nursing home abuse and neglect injury practice is that nursing homes take shortcuts in a facility’s sanitation, staffing and/or provision of care as a means to save money. They may hire less qualified or less experienced staff, as well.
When this kind of negligence has led to injury and death of our clients’ loved ones, our attorneys have seen to it that irresponsible nursing home owners were compelled to compensate those they harmed. We can investigate the circumstances of your loved one’s San Antonio area COVID-19 nursing home death and seek justice for your family.
Contact a Nursing Home Wrongful Death Attorney in San Antonio, TX
The COVID-19 pandemic has exacted a terrible toll on Texas, our nation and the world. But the loss of a loved one to the coronavirus whose death was preventable and was caused by neglect by a nursing home entrusted with the person’s care should not go unanswered.
If you lost a loved one due to the COVID-19 coronavirus contracted at a nursing home in the greater San Antonio area, contact a Herrman & Herrman wrongful death attorney as soon as possible. Our legal team will do everything we can secure the full and fair compensation you and your family deserve.
Contact Herrman & Herrman, P.L.L.C. at (361) 882-4357 or through an online form in San Antonio as soon as possible. Our attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, which means that you will not owe us a fee until we recover compensation for you. Call us now.