Thomas v. Century Villa Inc.
Thomas v. Century Villa Inc. (U.S. District Court, C.D. California, June 10, 2021): Plaintiffs alleged that a nursing home caring for a patient, who later died, was negligent in failing to protect him from COVID-19 and other illnesses. The nursing home claimed that the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness (PREP) Act, subsequent amendments, and an Advisory Opinion provided by the federal Department of Health and Human Services after the declaration of the public health emergency blocked the state law claim. A California federal court disagreed, declined to defer to the Advisory Opinion, and found that the PREP Act likely did not apply. The PREP Act governs the use of emergency countermeasures, which plaintiffs’ claims did not implicate. Even if the PREP Act applied, the court further reasoned, it would not completely preclude a state law claim. Read the full decision here.