Nina Kohn Considers the Life-And-Death Implications of Immunizing Negligent Healthcare Facilities from Liability in the Time of COVID

Nina Kohn ('03), Professor of Law at Syracuse University College of Law, and a faculty affiliate with the Syracuse University Aging Studies Institute, contributed to numerous publications this month regarding her advocacy for older adults, the pandemic's highest at-risk population. Nina was consulted by the Chicago Reader to review Illinois Governor Pritzker's Executive Order 2020-19 and warned against its dangerous impact of waiving liability for injuries or deaths from negligence during the COVID-19 outbreak ("The Problem with Pritzker's Pandemic Immunity Orders," June 12). "Granting long-term care facilities immunity from negligence claims is not something you would do if you truly care about residents of long-term care facilities. … Most negligence isn't gross negligence. Now the plaintiff needs to plead a heightened level of culpability." Regarding a similar provision passed by the New York State legislature, Nina told PIX11 News, "There's really no state in the nation that's granted nursing homes and their owners such broad protection. That's dangerous for workers; it's dangerous for residents." ("NY Nursing Homes with COVID-19 Deaths Have Liability Shield," June 11).