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Coronavirus Outbreak At Kirkland Nursing Home Sparks Concerns

coronavirus outbreak at nursing homeNursing home patients across Washington state are on high alert after the coronavirus (COVID-19) appears to have been spreading undetected at a Kirkland nursing home.

It was revealed over the weekend that one resident of the Life Care Center of Kirkland has passed away after showing symptoms and testing positive for coronavirus. Four other residents have also been hospitalized as a result of the illness, in addition to a care worker who remains under care while she recovers.

The resident who tragically passed away over the weekend was a man in his 70s with underlying health conditions. Many experts have maintained that the elderly and those with vulnerable immune systems or existing health complications are the most at-risk population for contracting the coronavirus. Younger people and those with healthy immune systems are less likely to experience serious complications, even if they do contract the virus.

UPDATE: There have now been 30 confirmed fatalities associated with patients at the Life Care Center of Kirkland.

Updated on: 3/23/2020

Additional Details Suggest Outbreak Is Growing

According to announcements from Ellie Basham, executive director for Life Care Center, more than 50 of the nursing home’s 108 residents and 180 staff members have shown signs of possible coronavirus infections. It is unclear how long the staff at the facility have been aware of a possible outbreak.

“Current residents and their associates are being monitored closely, and any with symptoms or who were potentially exposed are quarantined,” said Basham.

Visitors from guests and vendors for the facility have been temporarily halted, with new resident admissions also being placed on hold.

Liability For A Public Health Outbreak

As is the case with all civil lawsuits after a person has suffered harm or bodily injury, there is a burden of proof to be met with regard to proving liability. In this particular case, proving that the nursing home had advanced knowledge of the outbreak or was aware of vulnerabilities in the facility’s protocol that would increase the chances of patients suffering harm.

Establishing negligence against a care facility such as a nursing home or hospital is often a difficult endeavor. But it’s also crucial for affected patients to learn more about their legal rights after a life-changing incident like this, and speaking with an attorney is often a good first step in the process.

Interestingly enough, Life Care Center has a history of troubling health inspections, which can be found on the Medicare.gov website. The facility has received 7 health-related citations in the past 3 years, with a total of 18 documented citations overall. Life Care Center has also been fined twice by the federal government in the last 3 years, including a $43,729 fine on 4/11/19 and $10,480 on 10/16/2017. These are troubling developments to say the least. 

Can You File A Lawsuit For Coronavirus Exposure?

There is a lot of information remaining to be discovered and questions which must be answered before it can be determined if nursing homes and healthcare facilities may be held liable for the harm that results from this outbreak. However, it is often in the best interests of victims and their families to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney in the event of serious injury or harm. 

Davis Law Group helps victims of nursing home abuse and neglect learn about their legal rights and options in the event of COVID-19 Coronavirus negligence. If you would like to speak with our team about your rights or pursuing a claim, call our office at (206) 727-4000 today.

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