Plaintiffs File Increasing Number of Wrongful Death Claims
Almost 7,000 New Jersey nursing home residents have died due to COVID-19. In addition, many people have been sickened at work and ultimately passed away. As a result, their families have filed wrongful death lawsuits, resulting in a spike in this type of case.
The Lawsuits Are Just Beginning
COVID-19 has led to a high number of wrongful death claims. The lawsuits are only beginning as plaintiffs have until two years from the date of death to file a lawsuit. Thus, it is likely that there are still many more lawsuits to be filed as families learn more about their loved ones’ deaths.
There are many settings in which New Jersey residents were sickened by COVID-19. Even though the law is skewed toward the defendant in this area, there are still openings for families to bring wrongful death lawsuits against those who they believe are responsible for their loved ones’ death. This is why people are still filing lawsuits.
Nursing Homes, Employers and Retail Establishments Are Defendants
The three most common types of COVID-19 wrongful death lawsuits occur in nursing homes, employment settings and stores. While plaintiffs in these cases face some hurdles, they are hoping that the defendant’s conduct in these cases was so bad that they can persuade the jury of liability. Alternatively, they are hoping that the defendants may realize that they have legal risks and settle the case.
There has been a rush of wrongful death lawsuits against New Jersey nursing homes. You may remember the horror stories of bodies piling up at an overwhelmed New Jersey nursing home in the early days of the pandemic. These skilled nursing facilities were anything but skilled in keeping their facilities from being overrun with the deadly virus.
Nursing Homes Are Sued the Most
There was a class-action lawsuit filed against a nursing home in the state in which 94 families alleged that the home failed to take the proper action to keep their loved ones safe and prevent their deaths. New Jersey has passed a law giving qualified immunity to nursing homes from COVID-19 lawsuits, but there are enough ways to still show that the nursing home was liable.
The families of deceased New Jersey residents have also rushed to file lawsuits against employers that failed to keep workers safe. Whether these employees worked in stores or meatpacking plants, their employers did not provide them with adequate personal protective equipment (PPE) or take measures to keep the virus from spreading in the workplace. As a result, workers got sick and died.
Employer Lawsuits Are Tough to Win But Have Been Filed
These lawsuits are difficult to win but not impossible. Usually, this would be covered by workers’ compensation, which is the exclusive remedy. However, scores of plaintiffs are trying to prove that their employers were grossly negligent. This would allow the family to file a traditional wrongful death lawsuit that could lead to higher damages.
Families are also filing wrongful death lawsuits when people have become sick in places like stores. In the early days of the pandemic, stores might have been negligent in failing to take protective measures when they knew how dangerous the situation was. This includes rules to distance customers from employees and each other. Here, families are in a better position because a wrongful death lawsuit against the store would use the traditional negligence standard. To learn more, you can consult with a Morristown personal injury lawyer.
There has been no national COVID-19 liability shield as some have proposed. As a result, you can expect that there will be more lawsuits filed. The number will increase even more if there is a spike in COVID-19 deaths in the fall as many are predicting.
If you think that someone else may be responsible for the death of your loved one from COVID-19, contact Morristown personal injury lawyer Gregg Wisotsky at (973) 898-0161 to set up your free initial consultation.