New York lawmakers want to establish a $4 billion compensation fund, similar to the one formed after the Sept. 11 attacks, for families of nursing home residents who died of COVID-19 during the pandemic.
The legislative proposal was announced on Wednesday by Assemblyman Ron Kim (D). Eligible families that submit applications for compensation could receive a minimum payout of $250,000 for each resident who died of the virus under the proposal, the New York Post reported. Spouses and dependents of the deceased would be eligible to receive a minimum payment of $100,000.
“We must make it prohibitively costly for others to harm older adults,” Kim said in a statement Tuesday. “To do otherwise would be to normalize ‘eldercide’ and enable the complete abandonment and neglect of older adults for ‘productive members’ of society.”
Kim did not explain how the state would pay for the fund but said he plans to meet with other state Assembly leaders to discuss the bill. There’s also no indication, yet, that operators would have to pay into the compensation fund under the current proposal.
The proposal also takes aim at liability measures put in place that protected providers from lawsuits over their COVID-19 responses. It seeks to extend the statute of limitations for COVID-related personal injury and death civil claims filed by residents and families.
“The Justice for Nursing Home Victims Act will make it very expensive for our state and the nursing home industry to commit ‘eldercide’,” Kim said.