LTCCC submitted an amicus brief (also referred to as a “friend of the court” brief) in the case against the administrator and medical director of the Soldiers’ Home in Holyoke, Massachusetts related to COVID-19 deaths. An amicus brief is a legal document filed by someone who is not a party in a case but has an interest in its outcome. LTCCC is interested in this case because of its profound concerns for the safety and welfare of vulnerable nursing home residents, for whom the responsibilities of facility administration are essential.
The focus of our brief was on the following two issues raised by the appeal:
The duties and responsibilities of a nursing home’s administrator and medical director, and
Whether the actions of a nursing homes’ leadership and staff had a significant impact on the likelihood that residents would fall victim to COVID-19.
In its decision, the Supreme Judicial Court in Massachusetts reinstated the criminal charges against the former administrator and former medical director of the Soldiers’ Home. The case will now return to Hampden Superior Court where the former administrator and former medical director will each face five counts of being a caretaker who wantonly or recklessly commits or permits abuse, neglect, or mistreatment to an elder or disabled person.
LTCCC supports this decision. Nursing home administrators, medical directors, and caretakers alike have a duty to provide safe care to their residents.