Since March of 2020, New York State, along with the rest of the country, has been grappling with the consequences of the COVID-19 outbreak. From the earliest days of the onset, the newly formed COVID-19 practice group at Martin Clearwater & Bell <span class="text-llp">LLP</span> (MCB) has been scrutinizing all of the potential legal issues, many of which are unprecedented, that our clients may face during and after the course of this public health emergency.
Risk management is not only about planning courses of action and strategies that deal with known adverse possibilities; it is also about anticipating new risks arising out of unexpected events. The current coronavirus pandemic is the epitome of such a situation. Accordingly, our COVID-19 practice group is keeping abreast of all relevant news, data and guidance, as well as proactively contemplating all possible new causes of action stemming from this pandemic. Our Firm has compiled an extensive database of medical, technical and regulatory information which is updated daily, and monitors COVID-19 emergency declarations and guidelines on a local and national basis.
WHO WE REPRESENT:
Our clients include hospitals, physicians, nursing homes, physician group practices, health care organizations and other medical professionals.
WHAT WE HANDLE:
Martin Clearwater & Bell <span class="text-llp">LLP</span> has both defended and advised health care professionals and organizations for over a century. With superior resources, relationships (governmental, institutional, corporate, and individual), and experience, we are well-positioned to counsel all categories of health care organizations and providers with respect to COVID-19 and the new legal landscape that is evolving around it. For example, we have been the lead New York counsel for physicians in the Fen-Phen and silicone breast implant class actions, and we have defended health care professionals against claims involving liquid silicone, pedicle screw, and DES cases as well as various other medical devices or drugs. The Firm utilizes our technical expertise in medical and scientific matters, as well as our litigation support technology, to provide a high quality, cost-effective defense for our clients.
HOW WE HELP:
Our specialized COVID-19 practice group includes several of the Firm’s brightest and most experienced attorneys. Led by Senior Partners Kenneth Larywon, Thomas Mobilia, Anthony Sola and Barbara Goldberg, this group has an impressive track record of vigorously and successfully defending health care professionals and organizations against myriad causes of action spanning multiple medical specialties. Broadly, the types of specific COVID-19 issues we are prepared to address as this area of law evolves include:
- Procedural and venue considerations.
- Telehealth issues.
- Compliance issues resulting from multiple governmental agency mandates and/or waivers (federal, state, county, municipal).
- Employee screening and testing, as well as general workplace safety issues.
- Employee refusal to work (and related risk of whistleblower and retaliation claims.
- Patient claims of negligent care practices resulting in their becoming COVID-infected; or similar claims re: negligent treatment resulting in adverse outcomes, including death.
The types of claims we are capable of defending include:
- Breach of appropriate standard of care.
- Lawsuits by patients alleging that they contracted COVID-19 through interactions with health care providers.
- Cessation of services by healthcare vendors, leading to supply chain shortage issues which in turn directly impact the ability of providers to furnish care.
- Healthcare provider inability to perform.
- Patient privacy and HIPAA claims.
- Failure to provide protective personal equipment (PPE).
- Lawsuits from patients who were refused care.
Even as the nation’s hospitalization capacity was stretched to its limit as a result of this novel virus, claims and lawsuits related to patients who could not get “necessary” elective surgery during this time frame is also anticipated.