Preeminent Plaintiff's Trial Law Firm 
COVID-19 and Nursing Home Lawsuits

At Greene Broillet & Wheeler, our seasoned team of professionals have over 100 years of combined legal experience handling complex legal matters.

COVID-19 Nursing Home Death Lawsuits in California

Holding Nursing Homes Accountable for Preventable Coronavirus Deaths

When the novel coronavirus first started to spread in the United States, many of the first reported cases happened at a nursing home. At LifeCare Center in Kirkland, Washington, more than 129 residents became ill with COVID-19, with 37 cases proving lethal. Unfortunately, like many nursing homes across the country, the facility was ill-equipped, under-prepared, and understaffed to deal with the COVID-19 crisis – and now, the Seattle-area nursing home is facing over $600,000 in fines from the government due to its dangerous deficiencies.

This story is not unique, either: From coast to coast, nursing homes have been under siege against the threat of COVID-19, which is most deadly to the elderly and those with pre-existing respiratory conditions. While not all coronavirus-related deaths among seniors may be preventable, nursing homes have a stronger responsibility than ever to maintain required staffing levels for medical personnel, keep the facility clean, and seek emergency care for residents when needed. If a nursing home fails in its responsibility, it may ultimately be liable for any COVID-19 deaths that could have been prevented.

At Greene Broillet & Wheeler, LLP, our California nursing home abuse attorneys are ready to represent families who have lost loved ones to the virus in a long-term care or skilled nursing facility. Contact us at (866) 634-4525 for a free remote consultation.

What Are Nursing Homes Required to Do for Residents?

The COVID-19 pandemic caught most institutions by surprise. However, under both state and federal laws, nursing homes were already required to maintain appropriate levels of staffing to qualify for Medicare and Medicaid, as well as meet other important care requirements that could help avoid unnecessary COVID-19 infections. In the wake of a pandemic, any existing lapses in care become even more deadly for nursing home residents.

In California, Skilled Nursing Facilities (SNFs) must provide the following to their residents to qualify for federal funding:

  • Nutritious, high-quality food at regular meal times
  • Sufficient hydration and fluids
  • Infection control procedures
  • Personal care and grooming assistance
  • Physician and emergency services
  • Catheters, IVs, toileting assistance, and feeding tubes as required
  • Adequate nursing time (at least 3.2 hours per resident per day)
  • Accommodation of individual resident needs
  • Nursing home care plans
  • Constant or regular supervision for high-risk residents
  • Regular activity to avoid pressure sores and other complications

In addition to the basic requirements listed above, nursing homes must now report any COVID-19 cases directly to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) within 12 hours of confirmation. Facilities must also tell families about new respiratory symptoms in their loved ones within a period of 72 hours. Lastly, nursing homes are also required to obey all existing California executive orders and social distancing guidelines, and under the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), these facilities may be legally required to offer sufficient personal protective equipment for workers as well.

When Is a Nursing Home Liable for Wrongful Death?

As of April 23, 2020, the California Department of Public Health has reported that over 258 skilled nursing facilities in California have at least one confirmed case of COVID-19 among staff and residents, with more than half the outbreaks popping up in Los Angeles nursing home facilities. Because seniors do face heightened risks of COVID-19 infection – especially when living in close quarters with other seniors – nursing homes and staff members who fail to observe the duty of care may be held civilly liable for the wrongful deaths of residents.

If you believe that nursing home negligence or neglect caused your loved one to pass away due to COVID-19, our attorneys at Greene Broillet & Wheeler, LLP are here to help you through this difficult time. By investigating the underlying cause of your loved one’s death, we may be able to identify any responsible parties and help you pursue legal action against the facility. With over a century of experience, we’ve recovered many high-value settlements and verdicts for victims of nursing home negligence and neglect, because we have the skills, resources, and drive to seek justice for our clients.

For more information about how we can help, we invite you to contact our legal team at (866) 634-4525 today. Based in Los Angeles, our award-winning attorneys serve clients in California and nationwide.

  • Best Law Firms by US News
    Best Law Firms by US News

    Named in U.S. News - Best Lawyers® "Best Law Firms,” Greene Broillet & Wheeler, LLP ranks as Tier 1 Personal Injury and Product Liability firm in Los Angeles.

  • The Inner Circle of Advocates
    The Inner Circle of Advocates

    Founding partners Browne Greene and Bruce A. Broillet are both members of the exclusive invite-only Inner Circle of Advocates, as two of the top 100 plaintiff trial lawyers in America.


    All of our attorneys are proud to be active members of the Los Angeles County Bar Association or LACBA.

  • Consumer Attorneys of California
    Consumer Attorneys of California

    Many firm members have been honored by the Consumer Attorneys of California, including Browne Greene, Christine Spagnoli, and Bruce Broillet, recipients of the Marvin E. Lewis Award. In addition, attorneys Bruce Broillet, Scott Carr, Molly McKibben, and Tobin Lanzetta has been honored with the Consumer Attorney of the Year Award.

  • Best Lawyers
    Best Lawyers

    All 15 of our attorneys have been selected to Best Lawyers® after an extensive peer review process.

  • Top 10 Wrongful Death Verdicts in California in 2019
    Top 10 Wrongful Death Verdicts in California in 2019

    Our attorneys were featured in TopVerdict for having one of the Top 10 Wrongful Death Verdicts in California in 2019, with $15 million won for the plaintiff in Keck v. Bel-Air Bay Club.

  • Super Lawyers®
    Super Lawyers®

    Our firm has more attorneys on the Super Lawyers® and Rising Stars lists than any other law firm in Southern California, with 15 members selected.


    Several partners are active members in the Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles, with attorneys Browne Greene, Bruce Broillet, and Christine Spagnoli named “Trial Lawyer of the Year."


    Firm partners Christine D. Spagnoli and Molly McKibben have both been honored by the Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles and are active members.

  • Top 50 Personal Injury Verdicts in California in 2019
    Top 50 Personal Injury Verdicts in California in 2019

    After winning $2.6 million for the plaintiff’s side in a head-on collision case, our victory was named in the Top 50 Personal Injury Verdicts in California in 2019 by TopVerdict.

  • Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch
    Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch

    Recipients of this recognition are held up to the same standards as for The Best Lawyers in America, but only legal professionals in the first ten years of their careers qualify. Four attorneys at GBW have been recognized with this award in 2021.

  • American Board of Trial Advocates
    American Board of Trial Advocates

    Several of our partners are members in the American Board of Trial Advocates, a national invite-only association consisting of the most experienced trial lawyers.

  • Top 100 Settlements in California in 2019
    Top 100 Settlements in California in 2019

    Greene Broillet & Wheeler, LLP, was featured by TopVerdict in the Top 100 Settlements across all practice areas in California for 2019.

  • International Society of Barristers
    International Society of Barristers

    Our team includes several Fellows and Associates with the invite-only International Society of Barristers in recognition of their trial advocacy.

  • International Academy of Trial Lawyers
    International Academy of Trial Lawyers

    Bruce A. Broillet and Christine D. Spagnoli are Fellows with the invite-only International Academy of Trial Lawyers, a group of elite trial lawyers from over 30 countries.

  • America’s Top 100 High Stakes Litigators
    America’s Top 100 High Stakes Litigators

    As a member of America’s Top 100 High Stakes Litigators®, founding partner Bruce Broillet joins a select group of California lawyers. Only 0.5% of active attorneys in the United States receive this honor.

  • American College of Trial Lawyers
    American College of Trial Lawyers

    A preeminent trial lawyers’ organization in North America, the American College of Trial Lawyers have elected firm partners Bruce Broillet, Mark Quigley, and Geoffrey Wells as Fellows.

  • Lawdragon

    Lawdragon has selected five of our firm’s attorneys to the 2020 Lawdragon 500 Leading Plaintiff Consumer Lawyers list.

  • National Trial Lawyers: Top 40 Under 40
    National Trial Lawyers: Top 40 Under 40

    The National Trial Lawyers: Top 40 Under 40 is a prestigious, invitation-only organization exclusive to the most qualified lawyers who have already proven their elite legal skills through trial results and leadership — all before the age of 40.

  • National Trial Lawyers: Top 100
    National Trial Lawyers: Top 100

    Attorneys Scott Carr and Tim Wheeler hold membership to the National Trial Lawyers: Top 100, an invitation-only legal organization consisting of the nation’s premier trial lawyers.


Greene Broillet & Wheeler

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