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Public Health Emergency: Legal Preparedness and Response

Garcia v. Welltower OpCo Group LLC et al.


Garcia v. Welltower OpCo Group LLC et al. (U.S. District Court, Central District of California, February 10, 2021): A California federal court found that the Public Readiness and Emergency Response (PREP) Act provided immunity in a suit alleging elder abuse and neglect, wrongful death, and intentional infliction of emotional distress. Defendants operated and managed a senior living facility where Gilbert Garcia resided during the COVID-19 pandemic. Garcia was considered to be “at extremely high risk for complications or death” related to the disease, having had a history of heart attacks, stroke, glaucoma, and hypertension. After Garcia passed away from COVID-19, his successors filed suit. Defendants argued they were shielded from liability by the PREP Act, which immunizes covered persons engaged in activities related to medical countermeasures. The court granted defendants’ motion to dismiss, finding the defendants’ actions fell within the scope of the PREP Act’s immunity provisions. Read the full decision here.

View all cases in the Judicial Trends in Public Health – May 14, 2021.

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