Last month New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a bill placing restrictions on the medical malpractice immunity he granted New York hospitals and nursing home facilities at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a report by Newsday.
The bill, signed in August, gave hospitals and nursing homes immunity in malpractice claims involving Covid-19, whereas a March executive order and April law granted them immunity from “all but the most egregious cases over gross negligence or criminal acts.”
According to Newsday, the new immunity legislation followed lobbying by the Trial Lawyers Association, a group representing plaintiffs’ attorneys who represent alleged victims of medical malpractice. The TLA argued that the broader immunity legislation gave hospitals too much protection while failing to help less powerful victims of malpractice. Per a July Newsday report, “The defense lawyers’ group said Cuomo had silenced the voice of ‘the most vulnerable New Yorkers — Latinx workers, Black moms-to-be and the elderly — who are victims of medical mistakes, negligence and substandard care.’” In response, the Greater New York Hospital Association, which represents hospitals, said “the bill would harm health care facilities in the event of a resurgence of COVID-19, which could impact treatment of non-COVID cases.”