NY AG slams legal shield for nursing homes, hospitals

Letitia James NY AG

FILE- In this Aug. 6, 2020 file photo, New York State Attorney General Letitia James takes a question at a news conference in New York. During a Tuesday, Sept. 29 media conference call on an initiative, dubbed “Operation Corrupt Collector,” James offered frank advice to older people who are often seen as easy marks for dubious debt collectors. “Senior citizens, as I always say, they’ve earned the right to hang up and to be rude,” James said. “Most seniors are not rude, but when it comes to individuals engaging in illegal conduct, they should hang up and report the collector to the FTC immediately.” (AP Photo/Kathy Willens, File)

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NEW YORK — New York’s attorney general has joined calls for the state to loosen a partial immunity from lawsuits and criminal prosecutions it had granted to nursing homes at the height of the pandemic last spring.

In a report issued Thursday, Attorney General Letitia James, a Democrat, documented how a number of homes failed to follow infection-control protocols as the virus raged.

In some homes, patients with COVID-19 were mingled with residents who didn’t yet have the virus.

Some homes did not screen staff for illness, made sick employees keep coming to work or maintained dangerously low staffing levels.

A group of Republican and Democratic state lawmakers are pushing for the Legislature to pass a bill to repeal the immunity provision.

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