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Articles Tagged with Coronavirus

Nursing-home-photoAlden Estates of Naperville is a for-profit nursing home located at 1525 Oxford Lane in Naperville, Illinois. They participate in Medicaid and Medicare programs and have 203 certified beds. They are one of many Illinois nursing homes facing a severe outbreak of COVID-19. As of May 23, 2020, a reported 91 residents and staff have tested positive for COVID-19 and 21 people have died.

Alden Estates of Naperville receives two out of five stars (below average) on Medicare.gov based on recent staffing levels and health inspections. While residents received an adequate amount of nursing care, they received an hour less time per day from nursing aides than the national average.

A Medicare health inspection in 2019 found 11 health deficiencies; 21 deficiencies were found in 2018, and 17 deficiencies were found in 2017. In the last 3 years, Alden Estates of Naperville has had 16 complaints filed by residents or others that resulted in citations. Their 2019 health inspection found that the facility failed to:

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Meadowbrook Manor is a 298-bed nursing home in Bolingbrook, Illinois that participates in Medicare and Medicaid. According to recent IDPH numbers, they are facing a major COVID-19 outbreak with 176 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 26 deaths, the most deaths in any long-term care facility in Illinois.

Medicare.gov gives the facility two out of five stars (below average) based on staffing and health inspections. Meadowbrook Manor’s staffing levels are lower than average, with residents receiving  59 minutes of licensed registered nursing time per day versus 1 hour and 34 minutes nationally, and 1 hour and 23 minutes of a nursing aide’s time compared to a national average of 2 hours and 18 minutes.

Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) Violations

elderly-1461424_1920-thumb-350x233-90117-300x200City View Multicare Center is a for-profit nursing home located in Cicero, Illinois. They participate in the Medicare and Medicaid programs and have 485 beds. Currently, they are one of many nursing homes in Illinois battling a severe outbreak of COVID-19. As of  May 11, 2020, 262 residents and staff have tested positive for COVID-19 and 11 people have died at the nursing home.

Medicare.gov gives them one out of five stars (much below average) based on recent health inspections and staffing levels. Regarding staffing, residents at City View Multicare receive 11 minutes of care from a registered nurse per day, compared to a national average of 41 minutes, and 52 minutes of a nursing aide’s time compared to 2 hours and 18 minutes nationally.

A government health inspection in 2019 found 18 health deficiencies; an inspection in 2018 found 18 as well, and 10 deficiencies were found in 2017. In the last 3 years, City View Multicare has had 17 complaints filed by residents or others that resulted in citations. Health inspections in 2019 found that the facility failed to:

environmental-protection-326923_1920-1024x683COVID-19 has had disastrous effects on humans around the globe. It has killed thousands, left even more in financial despair, and infected millions of people worldwide. However, it does not come without a silver lining. As a result of coronavirus-related shutdowns, air pollution, which plays a major role in whether those infected with COVID-19 live or die, is at its lowest level in years. If we pay close enough attention, this pandemic can also function as a learning moment for the climate crisis.

Worldwide, air pollution levels have dropped drastically as a result of shelter-in-place orders. The Himalayas are visible to those in India for the first time in years, skies across the globe are clearer than they’ve been in a very long time, and air pollution levels are the best they’ve been in nearly three decades. Perhaps more importantly,  highways are empty, planes are grounded, and factories have slowed production, reducing hazardous emissions in the air. While these improvements are exciting, they are temporary. The sharp reduction in fossil fuel pollution as a direct result of shelter-in-place orders has caused a short-term improvement in the quality of air that we are breathing.

However, we cannot expect these results to continue once the pandemic is over and orders are lifted. We must use this moment to pay attention and move forward into a new and better future. If we do not, when the shutdowns are over and life returns to the way it was, so will air pollution levels. We’re already seeing this happen in China, where the shutdown in response to COVID-19 is being slowly lifted. China’s air pollution levels dropped just like ours have. Now that their shutdown is being lifted, air pollution levels have jumped right back up to where they were before. Not only is this extremely disappointing for the fate of our planet, but it’s also extremely scary given that their shelter-in-place orders are not even fully lifted yet. This means that it’s possible that China’s air pollution levels may be even worse once the pandemic is fully over.

senior-with-mask-5088202_1920-1024x714As the number of people infected with COVID-19 in Illinois continues to rise, new information is revealing how devastating the coronavirus has been in nursing homes in the state. In total, 438 nursing homes around the state have current outbreaks. Recently released data shows that there are more than 14,882 cases of COVID-19 in nursing homes across Illinois and 2400 deaths—about 50% of the COVID-19 deaths in Illinois.  These numbers exploded after the state began stepping up testing of residents and staff at nursing homes.

These facilities have the worst outbreaks of COVID-19 in the state as of May 8:

  • City View Multi-Care Center in Cicero – 216 residents and staff have tested positive for coronavirus and 9 have died.

law-40007_1280-247x300As plaintiffs’ lawyers representing both people and businesses, we are no strangers to dealing with insurance companies and making them pay. We have seen some very interesting developments in the insurance world since the spread of COVID-19.

The first thing we noticed: adjusters and defense attorneys started calling and offering to settle cases. We were not surprised. The insurers’ money is tied up in the markets, and the markets suddenly became uncertain. In any time of great uncertainty, people want to regain certainty. One of the things worth knowing is that big business is often willing to pay more to obtain certainty. And insurance companies are renowned for being risk-averse, certainty-seeking enterprises. (Just watch Ben Stiller in the movie “Along Came Polly.”)

The second thing we saw: insurance companies started denying claims under commercial policies for business interruption insurance coverage. Businesses everywhere are shutting down or slowing down in the wake of COVID-19. Many paid insurance premiums for years, thinking they had business interruption insurance coverage. Now, when they need it, the insurance companies are denying the claims.

white-volvo-semi-truck-on-side-of-road-2199293-1024x684In response to the nationwide COVID-19 outbreak, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) issued an emergency declaration on March 13, 2020, increasing the hours commercial vehicle drivers can be on the road without taking a break and providing certain other relief for these drivers transporting emergency relief items.  The emergency declaration was expanded on April 8, 2020, and will remain in effect at least through May 15, 2020.

The FMCSA is an agency of the federal government responsible for regulating and providing oversight of commercial motor vehicles in order to reduce injuries, crashes, and deaths involving large trucks and buses.  These vehicles typically exceed 10,000 pounds.

Under the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (Regulations), a commercial motor vehicle driver is only allowed to drive a total of 11 hours during a period of 14 consecutive hours and cannot drive after the end of the 14 consecutive hour period without first taking 10 consecutive hours off.  These restrictions are in place to enhance the safety of the driver and other motorists on the road by making sure drivers are getting adequate rest before operating these large vehicles.  Fatigue is a major factor linked to commercial vehicle accidents.  Fatigued drivers are increasingly likely to suffer a loss of attentiveness, slower reaction times, impaired judgment, and a likelihood of falling asleep.

insurance-3113180_1920-300x200The president recently got himself into hot water with insurance companies when he spoke about the need for insurers to make good and pay up on claims for business interruption losses in the wake of COVID-19.

In a coronavirus briefing, the president went on the offensive, criticizing insurers for denying claims by businesses that have been paying premiums for decades:

“Business interruption insurance . . . when I was in private, I had business interruption . . . When my business was interrupted through a hurricane or whatever it may be . . . if I had it [business interruption insurance], I’d expect to be paid.  You have people — I speak mostly to the restauranteurs, where they have a restaurant, they’ve been paying for 25, 30, 35 years — business interruption.  They’ve never needed it.  All of a sudden, they need it.  And I’m very good at reading language . . . And I don’t see the word ‘pandemic’ mentioned [in the policies] . . . I would like to see the insurance companies pay if they need to pay, if it’s fair. . . But business interruption insurance, that’s getting a lot of money to a lot of people.  And they’ve been paying for years . . .  they’ve been paying a lot of money for a lot of years for the privilege of having it.  And then when they finally need it, the insurance company says, ‘We’re not going to give it.’ We can’t let that happen.”

virus-4931227_1920-1024x683The Illinois Department of Public Health has finally released information about the growing numbers of COVID-19 cases and deaths at individual nursing homes in the state. As nursing home neglect and abuse attorneys, we have felt that families with loved ones in a nursing home deserve to know this important health information, and we had been dismayed by the secrecy and lack of transparency in Illinois up until now.

Below is a list of Illinois nursing homes with the worst outbreaks, as reported by the Chicago Tribune. It includes the nursing homes with the highest number of cases/deaths as of April 19. Unfortunately, we expect these numbers to rise in the coming weeks as nursing homes report more cases.

Cook County:

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Note: These numbers have been updated as of  May 12, 2020.

With elderly residents and close living quarters, nursing homes are extremely vulnerable to coronavirus. As the coronavirus crisis continues to develop in Illinois, numbers are emerging showing that nursing homes account for about 50% of the state’s COVID-19  deaths. That number is not surprising when you consider that 410 nursing homes in the state have been affected by the virus.  Dr. Ngozi Ezike, director of the Illinois Department of Public Health, recognized that nursing homes would be vulnerable back in a March 12 statement, during which she prioritized restricting visits to nursing homes as a method of limiting the spread of coronavirus.

Despite Illinois banning the majority of visitors at nursing homes, the latest infection reports are still showing coronavirus on the rise in senior facilities. Daily news reports and infection data highlight the widespread problem of COVID-19 infections in Illinois nursing homes. Recently released data from the Illinois Department of Public Health shows that over 14,882 cases of coronavirus and 2400 deaths are linked to nursing homes in the state and the numbers continue to grow.  Hardest hit has been Cook County, which has reported 1350 nursing home-related deaths and multiple nursing homes with serious outbreaks. At least four other Illinois counties–including Will, DuPage, Lake, and Kane– have reported 500 or more confirmed cases of COVID-19 in long-term assisted care facilities.

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