Protect Seniors’ Legal Rights in Nursing Homes

Target: Andrew Cuomo, Governor of New York

Goal: Allow nursing home residents to seek damages from negligent facilities.

Nursing home residents whose health has been affected by COVID-19 are finding themselves stripped of the right to sue for damages under New York’s Emergency Disaster Treatment Protection Act, which protects nursing homes from the consequences of a wide range of misbehaviors including gross negligence. Operators of nursing homes and assisted living facilities in the state have found themselves completely unprepared to guarantee the safety of their residents as state and federal authorities have failed to provide adequate equipment or training to staff.

While it’s unreasonable to leave providers of senior care vulnerable to lawsuits for an issue over which they had no control, the current law is far too sweeping and permanent, threatening to establish a precedent under which no resident will ever be able to protect themselves from avoidable harm. Seniors have accounted for 45 percent of Covid-19 deaths in 41 states, often in nursing homes with long records of infection and health code violation dating to long before the onset of the current pandemic.

Senior citizens’ health and legal rights cannot be threatened by for-profit companies which have gained immunity under the cover of coronavirus. Sign the petition below to demand that this law be overturned and that New York take more responsibility for the health of nursing home residents.


Dear Governor Cuomo,

New York has suffered tens of thousands of coronavirus deaths this year, many of them senior citizens residing in nursing homes where they have been stripped of legal recourse to protect themselves. The Emergency Disaster Treatment Protection Act may be appropriate for nursing homes which weren’t provided with the resources needed to protect residents, but it also offers negligent institutions immunity they don’t deserve which will only enable the abusive treatment of residents.

I demand that you work to overturn this cruel law to protect the lives and health of vulnerable older New Yorkers.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Adam Jones

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  1. Nursing homes are the worst thing that can happen to someone — please have mercy on all the senior citizens confirmed in those horrible places!

    Abbi pietà dei vecchi che sono ingiustamente confinati lì

    Thank you!

  2. patricia schwartzmann says:

    Dear Governor Cuomo,
    Ti prego di avere pietà di tutte le persone anziane confinate in questi luoghi a causa dell’ingratitudine dei loro parenti, senza pensare che un giorno tutti invecchiano e si pentono di averli messi lì.

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