Our Lady of Consolation Nursing and Rehabilitative Care Center was recently hit with a wrongful death lawsuit alleging it failed to properly care for patients during the COVID-19 pandemic.
A woman in Long Island recently filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Our Lady of Consolation Nursing and Rehabilitative Care Center over allegations that staff members neglected her “mother when she contracted the coronavirus and eventually died.” The suit was filed by Vivian Zayas. According to her, she was the one who placed her mother in the West Islip nursing home. What happened, though? What sort of neglect did her mother allegedly endure?
According to the lawsuit, Zayas’ mother, Ana Celia Martinez was 78-years-old when the staff at Our Lady of Consolation Nursing and Rehabilitative Care Center “failed to prepare for the coronavirus pandemic and care for its residents,” including Martinez. It turns out that Martinez was “one of 39 patients who died of the coronavirus at the nursing home,” according to state records. The death toll at Our Lady of Consolation was the highest of any other nursing home in Suffolk County and was the sixth-highest in the entire state.
Problems plagued Our Lady of Consolation before the coronavirus outbreak, though. In fact, prior to the pandemic, the nursing home “received 31 citations under federal and state regulations for failing to provide and implement proper infection control procedures between 2016 and 2020.” Then, in February, the nursing home “was placed on notice by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services that the coronavirus can rapidly appear and spread.” Additionally, the “nursing home was warned that staff should be prepared for a possible pandemic and obtain enough personal protective equipment,” according to the suit. The suit further states, “As the virus began to spread, the “nursing home failed to isolate residents known or suspected to have the virus.”
Shortly after Martinez died from the virus at the nursing home, Zayas and her sister, Alexa Rivera, started a group named ‘Voices for Seniors’ and “connected with families who also lost loved ones to the coronavirus.” Additionally, the ‘Voices for Seniors’ group “hosted a protest in front of the nursing home last month to demand more transparency.”
In response to the lawsuit, the nursing home said:
“It’s very unfortunate that this group would stage a protest on Mother’s Day. We have a long history of providing quality care to all residents, and we have staff, nurses and doctors who are mothers. They have dedicated themselves to providing quality care and ensuring the safety our of residents throughout this pandemic. There is constant ongoing communication with each patient and their family members.”