Paul M. da Costa Quoted in NorthJersey.com Article
By Snyder Sarno D'Aniello Maceri da Costa LLC on August 22, 2022
As seen in NorthJersey.com
August 22, 2022
By Scott Fallon
Veterans home employees sue Murphy admin, citing ban on masks at start of COVID pandemic
Dozens of employees of New Jersey's veterans homes that were devastated by COVID-19 are suing the Murphy administration, claiming that a cascading series of poor decisions —including barring masks in the pandemic's earliest days — led to them getting ill and caused one of the nation’s highest nursing home death tolls.
The plaintiffs in the 41 lawsuits filed this month range from nurse's aides to a physician who treated residents and family members who say they became ill when their relatives brought the virus home from the Menlo Park facility. The suits come as the administration has already settled 190 claims by families of victims for almost $69 million, including a recent $15.9 million settlement.
The Murphy administration's policy is not to comment on pending litigation.
"These employees stared COVID down face-to-face and were the epitome of health care heroes," said Roseland lawyer Paul da Costa, who filed the lawsuits. "Unfortunately they were put in a boat without a paddle facing a storm no one had ever seen before."
Almost 200 residents and two employees at the state-run homes in Paramus and Menlo Park died during the peak of the pandemic in spring 2020 as COVID spread swiftly through the facilities. Documents obtained by The Record and NorthJersey.com over the course of two years revealed serious problems with infection control, staffing levels and distribution of personal protective equipment at Paramus and Menlo Park.
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