CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – The State Senate is currently considering a number of bills of interest to seniors. One would limit or eliminate liability for deaths caused during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The AARP says many seniors were among the victims, and their families should have the right to sue if there was improper care.
“We know in West Virginia, 700 nursing home residents and staff persons have died as a result of COVID. So we think that when families are faced with these kinds of issues, it’s always a difficult decision to decide whether or not to take a case to court,” said Gaylene Miller, State Director AARP West Virginia.
But many Republicans in the legislature and people in the business community worry that there could be a flood of COVID-19-related lawsuits. Even if they can’t be proven, it would be costly to defend them and ultimately hurt the economy.
“Lawsuits over ‘it’s your fault I got COVID,’ or ‘it’s somebody else’s fault that he got COVID,’ I don’t think that society is going to benefit from that litigation,” said State Sen. Charles Trump, Judiciary Chairman.
The liability legislation moves on to the House if the Senate approves. Meanwhile, AARP is joining the chorus of people calling for massive broadband improvements in West Virginia. Many seniors rely on internet access for telehealth, grocery shopping, and other needs.AARP also wants to protect SNAP benefits that allow many seniors to buy food.
West Virginia has one of the highest ratios of senior citizens in the nation, and many are AARP members. The organization has a lot of clout at the ballot box here.