AARP fights bill that would protect MO nursing homes from COVID-related lawsuits

Advocacy group says not enough is known about COVID deaths to grant legal protections
AARP speaks out against COVID immunity for nursing homes
Photo credit Getty Images

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) - The AARP in Missouri says there needs to be more investigation before letting the nursing home industry off the hook for COVID-related deaths.

A measure advancing in the state legislature would provide businesses protection from COVID exposure lawsuits -- plaintiffs would have to prove reckless or willful misconduct that caused personal injury.

Jay Hardenbrook, Associate State Director of Advocacy, AARP Missouri tells KMOX he would like to know more before giving nursing homes and long-term care facIilties immunity.

"We're still trying to sort through all of the information and figure out where things have gone wrong," he says. "Obviously, something went very wrong here in the state of Missouri when you compare our numbers to our neighbors."

According to the AARP, more than 40% of all COVID-related deaths in the state of Missouri were nursing home residents. That's compared to 36% of all deaths in Kansas and 33% in Illinois. That is also well above the national average of 25% of all COVID deaths comprising nursing home residents.

Supporters of the legislation say granting protections to nursing homes would protect facilities from being overwhelmed with lawsuits.

@2021 Audacy (KMOX). All rights reserved.