Dana Hoffman and Christy Dunn earn dismissal of wrongful death claim against nursing home based on Covid immunity defenses.
The administrator of a decedent’s estate filed a wrongful death lawsuit against a nursing home in North Carolina, after the decedent moved into the facility in March 2020 and died of COVID 19 in April 2020. The complaint alleged that the facility failed to manage the infectious disease, and asserted causes of action for negligence, gross negligence, wrongful death, res ipsa loquitur, and a direct action under the state constitution. The defendants moved to dismiss the complaint under Rules 9(j), 41(b), 12(b)(1), 12(b)(2), and 12(b)(6) of the North Carolina Rules of Civil Procedure, arguing that they are entitled to immunity from civil liability provided by four state statutes and one federal statute. The superior court judge entered an order in February 2023 dismissing all five claims for relief with prejudice. The order dismissed the negligence and wrongful death claims based on Rule 9(j) and three state statutes granting immunity from civil liability during COVID 19, and dismissed the gross negligence, res ipsa loquitur, and direct state constitutional claims under Rule 12(b)(6) for failure to state claims upon which relief may be granted. The plaintiff elected not to appeal the order. The defendants were represented by Dana H. Hoffman and Christy C. Dunn of Young Moore and Henderson, P.A., Raleigh, North Carolina.