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New York Times Reports $53 Million Legal Settlement Won for Families of Veterans Who Died of COVID-19 in New Jersey Nursing Home

In a massive case of nursing home negligence, the State of New Jersey has agreed to pay $53 million to families of 119 veterans, who died from COVID-19 as the virus spread recklessly through two state-run facilities. Menlo Park Veterans Memorial Home in Edison, New Jersey reported 101 resident deaths while a second veterans home facility 40 miles north reported 89; only families who pursued lawsuits were part of the number receiving the settlement. This payout is said to be the “first of its kind nationwide,” expecting to give each family $445,000, although similar lawsuits are said to be pending around the United States against nursing home facilities.

Nursing homes have been hit especially hard during the last two years of the pandemic, a July report stating that 184,000 COVID-related deaths have occurred among long-term care facility employees and residents around the country. Part of the reason is due to neglect and improper care that allowed the virus to spread rampantly around our most vulnerable citizens. Some families in the settlement reported accounts of staff members being told not to wear masks prior to April 2020 “to avoid scaring residents,” as well as facilities allowing sick and healthy residents to congregate without any precautions.

While a settlement of this considerable amount is a step forward in acknowledging the wrongdoings by nursing home facilities in failing to protect their residents, it is not enough. The total number of deaths in New Jersey nursing homes were reported to be potentially undercounted seeing as many residents died before being tested for the virus. A similar case of falsely reporting accurate numbers was reported in New York by former Governor Cuomo. Read more on that investigation from March 2021 below. In a recent update, it was reported that the investigation was closed without any charges.

We are extremely disheartened to continue hearing stories like these. Our firm believes that all families are entitled to safe nursing homes where their loved ones are properly cared for. Read our article “Top 3 Tips for Finding a Safe Nursing Home,” which was featured in The Seattle Times last spring for ways to ensure your loved ones’ protection.

GLP Attorneys continues to be here for families and their loved ones in nursing home facilities. If you expect any instance of abuse or neglect while your family is in the care of a nursing home, give us a call today for a free lawyer consultation and we’ll help you get the justice you deserve.  

Nursing home abuse and neglect

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