The state of New York has amended a law that protected nursing homes from being held liable in most coronavirus-related lawsuits.
The bill, which was signed into law by Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) Monday, clarifies that immunity from liability applies only to facilities that provide care and treatment to residents and patients as it relates to COVID-19 during the public health emergency.
Additionally, providers will no longer receive immunity for care that is being delivered but not related to the pandemic — from now until the end of the state’s COVID-19 emergency declaration, the Associated Press reported.
Language included in a state budget bill in late March shielded nursing homes and other healthcare facilities from the possibility of lawsuits over patient care during the pandemic. That provision had later come under much scrutiny from lawmakers.
Nursing homes had lobbied for the protections, saying they were “quite common” during emergency situations. They also stressed that in instances of gross negligence and reckless misconduct, providers and healthcare workers would still be held accountable under New York law.