Cuomo signs bill repealing nursing home COVID-19 liability protections
"This blanket immunity prevented thousands of families who lost loved ones to COVID-19 from seeking legal recourse," a state senator said
Governor Cuomo repealed a controversial law that shielded nursing homes and other essential businesses from coronavirus-related lawsuits Tuesday night.
The measure rolled back the "Emergency or Disaster Treatment Protection Act," which granted health care facilities and workers liability immunity from negligence suits, and comes as Cuomo’s administration is under federal investigation for covering up some 9,000 COVID-19 related nursing home deaths last year.
The scandal — exclusively revealed by The Post — weakened Cuomo politically and led to calls for him to resign as sexual harassment accusations against him swirled in the wake of the report.
"As we near the passage of this year’s momentous budget, I am relieved to see corporate immunity, which was slipped into last year’s budget, fully repealed," Bronx State Senator Alessandra Biaggi, one of the bill’s sponsor said in a statement Tuesday night.
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"This blanket immunity prevented thousands of families who lost loved ones to COVID-19 from seeking legal recourse, and potentially incentivized nursing home executives to cut corners — endangering staff and residents."
"The corporate immunity provision was a license to kill," the Democrat previously told The Post
Queens Assemblyman Ron Kim also co-sponsored the bill. Kim — whose uncle died of the coronavirus in a nursing home — said Cuomo, a fellow Democrat, threatened to "destroy" him, if he did not help the governor contain the damage of the death coverup.
"’I can tell the whole world what a bad person you are and you will be finished,’" Kim said the governor told him in February.
The law was passed despite opposition by the powerful Greater New York Hospital Association lobby.
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The measure is one of ten bills the Democrat-led Senate has spearheaded to bolster accountability and oversight of nursing homes and the health department in the wake of the scandal.