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COVID Litigation Against Long-Term Care Facilities: Plaintiff and Defense Strategies in State and Federal Court

Recording of a 90-minute CLE video webinar with Q&A

This program is included with the Strafford CLE Pass. Click for more information.
This program is included with the Strafford All-Access Pass. Click for more information.

Conducted on Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Recorded event now available

or call 1-800-926-7926

This CLE webinar will discuss whether and how nursing homes, senior living, and long-term care facilities could be required to compensate residents or employees for COVID-related injuries. The program will identify what claims are being brought against which entities or individuals, which claims seem to have legs and why, the problems of causation and damages, and what defenses and defense strategies have or have not proved effective. The program will review how these cases are faring in state and federal court, and address plaintiff and defense perspectives and strategies.


At the start of the COVID pandemic, many states enacted laws providing near absolute immunity to liability in most provider situations, except for intentional, reckless, and wanton conduct. Quite a few of these laws have expired, been amended, or been repealed, and state trial judges are interpreting the effect of these changes in different ways with different results.

Many plaintiffs advocates argue that protections at the beginning of the pandemic when little or no information or protocols were available are no longer relevant.

Inconsistent results have met defendants attempting to remove cases to federal court under the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act (PREP Act) or arguing that the PREP Act provides the exclusive remedy for COVID claims. PREP ACT cases hinge on whether the facilities, officers, directors, owners, etc. are considered a "covered person" under the Act, and if the treatment/provisioning was in line with the PREP Act standard.

Furthermore, as seen during COVID and more recent statements by the President, Department of Justice, and HHS, enforcement activity often happens simultaneously with this litigation. This crossroads of legal exposure raise the risks and require careful strategy.

Listen as this experienced panel of attorneys analyzes COVID litigation against nursing homes and long-term care facilities.



  1. Defining a viable COVID-related claim
  2. State immunity statutes
  3. Applicability of PREP Act
  4. Damages
    1. Types of damages
    2. Calculation of damages
  5. Strategies for plaintiffs
  6. Strategies for defendants


The panel will discuss these and other key issues:

  • How can plaintiffs establish causation?
  • Does the type of facility and level of care matter when seeking damages for COVID-related injuries?
  • What states have the most and least protections for defendants?
  • What defenses and defense strategies have been effective?
  • How had increased government enforcement impacted strategy in private litigation?
  • What are the risks and associated mitigation techniques for handling simultaneous litigation and government enforcement activity?


Barnard, Thomas
Thomas H. Barnard

Baker Donelson Bearman Caldwell & Berkowitz

Mr. Barnard is the former vice chair of the firm’s Government Enforcement and Investigations Group with first...  |  Read More

Brusca, Michael
Michael A. Brusca

Davis & Brusca

Mr. Brusca dedicates his practice to representing vulnerable individuals and their families in wrongful death,...  |  Read More

Goodwin, Ryan
Ryan Goodwin

Patrick Jackson

Mr. Goodwin practices in the Shreveport, LA area. He began his career as a medical malpractice defense lawyer but...  |  Read More

Shimonsky, Karen
Karen M. Shimonsky

Managing Partner
Quintairos Prieto Wood & Boyer

Ms. Shimonsky primarily handles health care defense litigation including both long term care cases and medical...  |  Read More

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