AARP NY Hails Passage of Bill to Repeal Corporate Immunity for Nursing Homes
Urges Governor to Sign Measure, Restore Rights of Residents’ Families
ALBANY, N.Y.— AARP New York State Director Beth Finkel issued the following statement on the New York State Legislature’s passage of S5177-Biaggi/A3397-Kim, a bill to repeal the corporate immunity the State granted nursing homes in the 2020-21 State Budget:
“This is an important step toward righting the wrong the State slipped into the budget last year. AARP New York thanks Senator Biaggi and Assemblyman Kim for their leadership and their colleagues for overwhelming and bipartisan support for restoring the rights of nursing home residents and their families to hold long-term care facilities accountable for negligent care delivered during the pandemic.
“Pursuing legal action is not an easy thing to do, and no family member who has lost a loved one due to neglect or abuse pursues this course of action lightly. It is always an option of last resort – but must remain an option for families. Restoring families’ right to sue would also provide incentives to nursing homes to ensure quality care.
“We agree with Attorney General Letitia James, whose January 2021 nursing homes report recommended eliminating ‘the recently enacted immunity provisions that can provide financial incentives to for-profit nursing home operators to put residents at risk of harm by refraining from investing public funds to obtain sufficient staffing to meet residents’ care needs, to purchase sufficient PPE (personal protective equipment) for staff, and to provide effective training to staff to comply with infection control protocols during pandemics and other public health emergencies.’
“We urge the Governor to sign this bill promptly so the families of the nursing home residents we have lost in the last year once again have this right, which helps form the cornerstone of our society.
AARP is the nation’s largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering people 50 and older to choose how they live as they age. With a nationwide presence and nearly 38 million members, AARP strengthens communities and advocates for what matters most to families: health security, financial stability and personal fulfillment. AARP also produces the nation’s largest circulation publications: AARP The Magazine and AARP Bulletin. To learn more, visit www.aarp.org or follow @AARP and @AARPadvocates on social media.