The legal fight over whether COVID-19 wrongful death lawsuits against health care providers should be heard in state or federal courts is heating up following a recent first-of-its-kind ruling. 

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit decided that the federal Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act, or PREP Act, which protects health care providers from lawsuits during public health emergencies such as COVID-19, doesn’t warrant having a complaint against a New Jersey nursing home heard in federal court.