BEAVER COUNTY (KDKA) – Fifteen residents and their families, ten of whom have died, are all part of a lawsuit filed in October.
The lawsuit claims Brighton Rehab was reckless and did not follow precautions to stop the spread of Coronavirus in its facility.
However, lawyers representing Brighton said they are protected because of the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act, also known as PREP.
PREP said immunity doesn’t apply if there is misconduct that causes serious injury or death.
“What it’s saying is because there was an emergency disaster declaration surrounding the pandemic, this federal act called the PREP Act, provided certain immunities to individuals or healthcare providers that take countermeasures to help out with the pandemic,” said Robert Daley.
Attorney Robert Daley said there are several countermeasures to consider.
“If they give drugs or devices or have certain security in place that helps to prevent or limit the damage of the pandemic that may get some immunities,” said Daley.
But despite what the motion says, Daley claims Brighton didn’t do that.
“We believe our case definitely included claims of negligence before the pandemic began and before the disaster declaration,” said Daley.
Daley claims there’s been negligence like lack of staffing, and infection control issues.
“We believe Brighton wasn’t in a position to deal with the pandemic,” said Daley. “We don’t think there is immunity. We don’t think the case will be dismissed.”
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- More on the Brighton Rehab Outbreak
According to the Pennsylvania Department of Health’s website, there have been more than 300 cases of COVID-19 and just over 70 deaths at the facility.
The judge presiding over this case ordered the plaintiffs to respond to the motion by January 25. Attorneys repressing the families in the lawsuit haven’t decided how they will respond to the motion just yet.
KDKA reached out to the law firm representing Brighton to learn more about the motion but has not yet heard back from them.