Households of deceased COVID-19 sufferers are suing the care facility
Three families of care facility residents who lost their lives to the coronavirus filed a lawsuit for negligence.
The families of three deceased Whitefish Care and Rehabilitation residents have filed a lawsuit in Flathead District Court against the care facility for handing over their relatives to COVID-19. They are suing the 100-bed care center, its owners and the center’s director after a state inspection in late August resulted in the hiring of a new temporary site manager and a list of mandatory changes.
To date, more than a dozen Whitefish residents have died, and inspectors reported “serious non-compliance” with COVID-19 protocols and at least 43 residents who were still at risk. Seven were already infected and were at risk of spreading the virus at the time the state was determined.
In September, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released a report indicating that non-compliance in Whitefish Care and Rehabilitation puts the health and safety of recipients in their care at risk of serious, serious injury Has exposed to damage, severe impairment or death. In the same month, the CMS rated the facility as “imminent risk”.
Photo by Kristine Wook on Unsplash
The lawsuit alleges that residents were “ill-treated, malnourished or otherwise ill-treated under the guise of COVID-19 protocols”. It is said that not only did the staff not quarantine infected residents and stop the spread of COVID-19, but they also failed to inform families of the dire conditions.
Plaintiffs cite the internal report, as well as a targeted infection control survey conducted in May that found that “Whitefish Care and Rehab has not recommended the CMS and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in preparation for COVID-19 … since the end of August at least 75% of the facility’s residents have been infected with the virus, ”the lawsuit said.
A COVID-19 survey was also conducted by DPHHS officials on August 31 and September 1 for targeted control at the facility. The results showed that “staff housed suspected COVID-19 positive residents with COVID-19 negative residents”. Investigators also reported, “Staff entered COVID-19 rooms without positive PPE and facility staff did not attempt to maintain social distancing for all residents.” DPHHS interviewed a staff member on Aug. 31 who could not remember when the last time she had PPE training.
This unidentified employee reportedly responded, “I think I have had five hand hygiene courses [to] I don’t know six months ago. I’m so tired. I can’t even think we’re all working without energy. “
“Not only was it negligent treatment that resulted in the death of the individuals whose estates are named in the complaint, but more fundamentally, we have argued that it was a violation of human dignity,” said Roger Sullivan, attorney at McGraw Law Firm.
The three residents who are at the center of the lawsuit were admitted in the summer. “They were older, at least in some cases there was hope that they would be released back to their families because of the rehabilitation they would receive during their stay,” Sullivan said. He added that the lawsuit is currently in the process of being discovered and stated, “We are looking for so-called precipitating witnesses and people who have information about this lawsuit. We are in the process of collecting this information as best we can. “
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