In a hard fought win that will impact over 1,000 hotly contested COVID-19 claims throughout the state, Megan Lawless and Dylan Braverman achieved a landmark victory in reversing an Order from New York’s Litigation Coordinating Panel that forced all nursing home COVID-19 era claims to be coordinated for dispositive motions, discovery and pretrial proceedings throughout New York State. The Panel’s now reversed Order coordinated all claims brought against nursing homes or their physicians and nurses. This Order would have highly prejudiced individual nursing homes and their clinical team by forcing them to collectively litigate legal and factual issues unique to each of them in a mass tort type setting, thus removing the reality that each claim arose from highly personal and individual facts concerning the patient’s care and medical condition. This would have prevented each nursing home, nurse and physician from telling their personalized COVID-19 story. The win by Megan, Dylan and the firm’s COVID-19 team will now allow the truly individualized accounts of heroism in the face of extreme adversity to be heard in defense of these claims.
This hard fought win was the result of an unprecedented initiative by Megan, Dylan and the firm’s COVID-19 team. The firm commenced six individual Article 78 petitions on behalf of multiple clients to challenge the enforceability of the coordination order on the grounds that it violated New York’s Constitution. After months of litigation and consideration by all parties, this effort led to the Panel reversing its Order, effectively disbanding any coordination of these cases, and reaffirming that COVID-19 nursing homes claims should be individually litigated in the courts where they were properly commenced.
Indeed, in dozens of motions, plaintiffs have sought to delay ultimate justice on these cases based on the now reversed Coordination Order. Nursing homes, and their physicians and nurses can now seek dismissal on these claims without delay.