November 27, 2022

Volume XII, Number 331


Long-Standing Inadequacies Lead to Further Issues Within Nursing Homes

It is important to recognize the hard work of nurses in the fight against COVID-19, but in nursing homes, problems continue to be discovered.

Unfortunately, we saw a spike of more than 1,500 deaths of nursing home patients from early to mid- April according to recent reports. As is being recognized, the nursing home population is vulnerable to the pandemic due to their age, or already compromised health. However, it should not go unnoticed that the problems some nursing homes are now experiencing are due in part to long-standing inadequacies in those facilities prior to the spread of COVID-19.

Some nursing homes are for-profit, and that status coupled with the homes being owned by individuals or groups of individuals who are not medical personnel, has been cause for these homes to prioritize profits over adequate staffing, training, and the following of established infection control policies. This has inevitably led to the homes heading into this pandemic already ill-functioning and unprepared.

As a result, we have received multiple contacts from families advising of the failure of nursing homes to accurately report conditions inside the homes, as well as their failure to return phone calls or respond to communications entirely. In fact, some families cannot reach their loved ones inside the homes at all.

You should continue to reach out to your loved ones, but know there are other places to which you can turn to provide help at this time. You can contact the NJ State Long Term Care Ombudsman at 877.582.6995, the NJ State Department of Health at 609.292.7834, and/or the NJ State Attorney General’s Office if a nursing home has failed to respond to you, you cannot reach your loved one, or for any other concern you may have.

COPYRIGHT © 2022, STARK & STARKNational Law Review, Volume X, Number 126

About this Author

Sharri Warfel, Shareholder

Sherri L. Warfel is a Shareholder and trial attorney in Stark & Stark’s Nursing Home Litigation Group. Ms. Warfel concentrates her practice in representing victims of abuse and neglect in nursing homes and other medical facilities. She handles cases involving claims of pressure ulcers, fractures or injuries from preventable falls, infection, abuse, and death. Ms. Warfel also maintains a personal injury practice for clients injured in accidents. She is a seasoned trial attorney and litigator who has settled and tried hundreds of cases in her years of practice.

Sherri's primary...

 Alex Fajardo, Lawrenceville, New Jersey, litigator, personal injury claims, nursing home malpractice

Alex J. Fajardo is an Associate in Stark & Stark’s Nursing Home Litigation Group. Mr. Fajardo concentrates his practice on personal injury claims, nursing home malpractice, and litigation with emphasis on wrongful death, catastrophic injury, negligence, and abuse claims arising in nursing homes, assisted-living facilities, psychiatric facilities, hospitals, boarding, and group homes.

Prior to joining Stark & Stark, Mr. Fajardo worked for a personal injury firm in the Princeton area, where he concentrated his practice on nursing home...