Debbie de los Angeles, whose mother Twilla Morin, 85, died on March 4 at Life Care Center in Kirkland, Washington from COVID-19 sued its parent company, Life Care Centers of America, alleging that the company had hidden essential facts about the epidemic before her mother died.
It would be the first wrongful death trial against the company, whose establishment in Kirkland was the initial epicenter of the COVID-19 epidemic in the United States, and has been linked to at least 35 deaths from coronavirus.
Nursing homes for coronavirus testing cannot rely on symptoms alone
The Cleveland, Tennessee-based Life Care Centers of America Inc. are among the largest players in nursing home care in the United States, with more than 200 senior centers in 28 states. The company said last month that it would take strict infection control measures at all of its facilities to protect against coronavirus.
Los Angeles accuses Life Care, its parent company and senior management of the Kirkland facility of “not disclosing material facts” to parents and residents of the house, so that his mother would be cradled in the home. ‘establishment’ in an environment, and under the care of persons and entities, dangerous to its health and safety. “
Morin died 24 hours after contracting COVID-19 on March 3. De los Angeles was never able to see or speak to his mother during this time and discovered his mother’s state and death from voice messages left by nurses in the nursing home.
Lack of training for nursing home workers could fuel the spread of COVID-19
Life Care has always insisted that it did not know a resident of the home had contracted COVID-19 until February 29, when it immediately informed residents and families.
[ Sign up for our Health IQ newsletter for the latest coronavirus updates ]
Tim Killian, a spokesperson for Life Care, said in an email to Reuters, “Our hearts go out to this family and the loss they suffered during this unprecedented viral epidemic. We are unable to comment on specific pending legal cases, but we wish peace to all families. The loss of one of our residents at the Life Care Center in Kirkland is deeply felt by us. “
Coronavirus: Few Precautions Taken in a Nursing Home After the Zero Point of the Outbreak in the United States
Brian Mickelsen, a lawyer in Los Angeles, said his client strongly suspected that the company knew more about a possible coronavirus outbreak before February 29. He said a respiratory illness was sweeping the house before that date, and a month after the coronavirus arrived in Washington state. .
“My client filed a complaint demanding answers to important questions,” said Mickelsen.
(Reporting by Tim Reid; Editing by Daniel Wallis)