The COVID-19 pandemic has affected the lives of every person in the United States. However, nowhere has the effect of this virus been felt more harshly than in nursing homes throughout the country. If you remember, the first major outbreak of the coronavirus occurred in a nursing home in Washington.

Since that time, Montana has ranked near the top of the nation when it comes to nursing home negligence and deaths caused by COVID-19. Here, we want to discuss a recent lawsuit that alleges negligence in a COVID-19 spread at a Butte long term care facility.

What Is Happening With This Nursing Home COVID-19 Lawsuit?

A lawsuit filed at the beginning of December 2020 alleges that negligence inside the Continental Care and Rehabilitation Center in Butte allowed COVID-19 to spread throughout the facility. The lawsuit alleges that 13 people lost their lives as a result of this uncontrolled spread. This lawsuit was filed in a Montana District Court by relatives of two nursing home residents that resided at the facility. The lawsuit alleges that the owners of the facility and the administrators “ignored complaints, guidelines and agency recommendations and requirements, and allowed the unsafe conditions … to persist until nearly the entire population of residents” had the virus. The lawsuit states that staff at this facility failed to follow public health and COVID-19 prevention guidelines issued by the Montana Department of Health and Human Services (DPHHS) and the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid, the agencies responsible for regulating these facilities. In particular, the lawsuit states that the facility:

  • Failed to properly use protective equipment
  • Did not maintain reasonable social distancing measures among nursing home care residents
  • Had inadequate staffing
  • Failed to timely and appropriately test for COVID-19
  • Failed to respond to complaints and warnings of COVID-19 amongst the residents

Have There Been Other Similar Lawsuits Filed in Montana?

There have been other lawsuits filed related to COVID-19 outbreaks at long term care facilities in Montana. Recently, a lawsuit was filed against Whitefish Care and Rehabilitation in Flathead County. This lawsuit also alleges that COVID-19 spread due to the careless and negligent actions of the owners and operators of the facility. Both Continental Care and Whitefish Care are owned by California-based Sweetwater Private Equity and its subsidiaries.

Nursing Home Negligence Has Occurred to Myself or a Loved One – What Should I Do Now?

If you have contracted COVID-19 while residing in a long term care facility in Montana, or if your loved one has contracted the virus, you need to seek assistance from an attorney as soon as possible. Right now, the success of lawsuits related to COVID-19 against nursing homes is an unknown factor, as many of these lawsuits are still ongoing or have not yet been filed. However, when you have an attorney by your side to help investigate what happened, you will be gaining extensive resources and legal expertise that can help determine the best steps moving forward. If you or a loved one have been harmed, or if you have lost hey love one due to the spread of COVID-19 inside of a long term care facility, you deserve closure.

Contact the Law Firm of Heenan & Cook, PLLC to discuss the specifics of your case at  (406) 839-9091. Our personal injury attorneys have extensive experience working with families and victims involved in nursing home negligence cases.