Legal Updates for Health Care Liability – March 20, 2023

Long-Term Care Facility Faces Criminal Scrutiny for Early COVID-19 Actions

On March 14, 2023, the Los Angeles County District Attorney announced multiple felony criminal charges would be filed against a nursing home facility and three of its administrators for their handling of a COVID-19 infected patient during the early stages of the pandemic in March 2020. Spokespersons for the facility publicly denied all charges, calling them baseless. 

The complaint alleges that in March 2020, Silverado Senior Living Management, Inc. admitted a new resident from New York City, which had a high concentration of COVID-19, in violation of their own policies. It has also been alleged that Silverado violated several testing and quarantining policies with the patient upon admission. The resident became ill and ultimately tested positive for COVID-19 and is believed to have caused an outbreak, resulting in the deaths of 14 individuals and sickening of over 100 persons. 

For a health care sector that was anticipating a wave of civil litigation following the COVID-19 outbreak, the announcement of criminal charges by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office comes as a surprise and a warning. Within weeks of the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, states offered civil immunity to long-term care facilities in an acknowledgment of the dysfunction due to medical care supply shortages, short-staffing due to lockdowns and illness, and a general lack of understanding of the coronavirus. Three years later, long-term facilities seem to have lost the public’s goodwill for their efforts during the pandemic and, perhaps, now the trust of law enforcement.

While it is difficult to predict whether other prosecutors will follow the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s lead, Marshall Dennehey is prepared to provide answers to your questions regarding the Silverado case. 

Legal Update for Health Care Liability – March 20, 2023, has been prepared for our readers by Marshall Dennehey. It is solely intended to provide information on recent legal developments, and is not intended to provide legal advice for a specific situation or to create an attorney-client relationship. We welcome the opportunity to provide such legal assistance as you require on this and other subjects. If you receive the alerts in error, please send a note to ATTORNEY ADVERTISING pursuant to New York RPC 7.1. © 2023 Marshall Dennehey. All Rights Reserved.