Gross negligence versus Covid-19 regulations

On May 20, 2020, NJ Lawyer and Bianchi Law Group partner, Robert (Bob) Bianchi appeared on Chasing News with Bill Spadea to discuss a recent lawsuit involving prominent musician from Bruce Springsteen’s band, Nils Lofgren, and the nursing home Lofgren’s mother-in-law resided.

The lawsuit contends that gross negligence on the part of the nursing home facility, Brookdale Senior Living, resulted in Lofgren’s mother-in-law, who suffers from Alzheimer’s, and in turn contracted Covid-19.

According to Bianchi, the lawsuit may have merit on the gross negligence claim given that Lofgren’s mother-in-law was apparently left unattended and managed to escape the facility in early April.  At the time, she had not tested positive for the virus.  However, a week after this incident, she tested positive and required hospitalization.

The more difficult claim to prove, Bianchi contends, is whether this negligence was actually the cause of contracting the virus.

When considering a defense for the nursing care facility, one must consider the New Jersey Covid-19 regulations that included a stipulation that nursing homes must take in Covid-19 positive patients. This, Bianchi says, gives the nursing home a possible defense against liability for the lawsuit claims.