NY lawmaker wants compensation fund for families of nursing home residents who died of COVID

Brooklyn nursing home
Photo credit Getty Images

NEW YORK (1010 WINS) – State Assemblyman Ron Kim, of Queens, wants to set up a 9/11-type compensation fund for relatives of people who died from coronavirus in New York nursing homes.

“A lot of them were burdened with financial fees and debt as a result of taking care of their loved ones and their funeral costs, so there’s a number of different level of injustices that happened, and one immediate solution after talking to some of the families’ attorneys is to have a victims compensation fund,” Kim said.

He also said regulations giving nursing homes legal immunity must be repealed after state Attorney General Letitia James found the number of nursing home residents who died from COVID in New York may have been underreported by 50%.

“Her report clearly says that giving out a blanket legal immunity to nursing homes in the middle of the pandemic disincentivizes the businesses from investing further to helping to save lives. So we want to retroactively repeal it. And we have a number of other bills that we’re looking at as a result of that report,” Kim said.

The assemblyman said the fund would be paid for by a tax on nursing homes, with half of the proceeds going to the fund and the other half going to maintaining nursing home staffing.

Kim’s uncle died in a nursing home from coronavirus.