NEWS from the Shelby County Mayor’s Office
Lee Harris, Mayor
Vasco A. Smith, Jr., Administration Building
11th Floor, 160 North Main, Memphis, Tennessee 38103
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
JUNE 9, 2020
Interim Public Information Officer
MEMPHIS, TN – Today, Mayor Lee Harris sent a letter to the Shelby County delegation of state legislators asking that they consider legislation to protect senior citizens and permanently disabled citizens who reside in nursing homes amid the current public health emergency. Shelby County has had COVID-19 outbreaks at 20 long term care facilities, many of which are nursing homes, or include nursing home care. In the letter, Mayor Harris cites legislative changes dating back over a decade that has made it substantially more difficult to hold nursing home owners accountable. Furthermore, he expresses his concern with proposed legislation that is being drafted that would substantially expand legal immunity for nursing home owners. Mayor Harris asks the Shelby County delegation to consider nine specific actions including extending the statute of limitations for nursing home claims due to families’ inability to discover injuries while visitation has been prohibited.
Mayor Lee Harris: “We have too many outbreaks at nursing homes in our state and this problem begs for a state solution. Our nursing home residents have little to no control over their environments. Their families are often barred from visiting or getting timely updates. This creates real risks and I believe we all have an obligation to protect these residents.”
Read Mayor Harris’ full letter to members of the Shelby County delegation here.
(end of release)