Ricardo Saldana, 77, died in Glendale Memorial Hospital from COVID-19 complications in April. He became yet another tragic victim of the global pandemic. What followed Saldana’s death has been just as tragic: his wife and children have alleged that the nursing home in which Saldana was a resident knowingly exposed him to the virus that ended up killing him.
The wrongful death lawsuit filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court details the circumstances that lead to Saldana’s death. The lawsuit alleges willful misconduct, negligence and improper conduct amounting to elderly abuse. The family claim Glenhaven Healthcare actively prevented healthcare staff, who were coming into contact with the residents of the facility, from wearing protective equipment such as gloves and masks.
To make matters worse, the lawsuit alleges a number of other mistakes. It is claimed that an employee alerted the nursing home to the fact that they could have COVID-19 – having been exposed to it – but they were still allowed to work and come into contact with residents. A further issue surrounded the fact that Saldana was given a new roommate in March. The problem with this, it is claimed, is that the new roommate was said to have previously shared a room with someone that tested positive for COVID-19.
A further problem was the fact that Saldana was clearly in the high risk group: he had stroke in 2014 and a history of cardiac problems, which the nursing home knew about. The victim’s daughter, Jackie Saldana, holds no reservations with regards to who was to blame for her father’s death. “They killed my dad. They could have prevented this,” she said. She went on to say that she was “bringing this case to prevent this from happening to others, and to save lives.”
Jackie Saldana further alleges that her father was not the only resident on the receiving end of improper conduct. “They put a patient with COVID in my dad’s room when my dad was alone all the time. They could have prevented this and many others died and many others got sick,” she claimed.
It is estimated that five other residents and workers at Glenhaven have died of COVID-19. Saldana’s daughter went on to make further reference to the fact that she had alerted Los Angeles health authorities about the conditions at the nursing home prior to her father’s death.
Glenhaven have, thus far, vehemently rejected any wrongdoing. Carrie Marks, an administrator at the nursing home, released a statement assuring the public that “Glenhaven Healthcare heroes put our patients first every day” and that they “are extremely proud of our ongoing service to our patients and the community during a time of enormous challenges for healthcare providers in our country.”
Saldana’s death is even more shocking when put into context. As The Los Angeles Times author Matt Hamilton points out: “about half of the more than 3,600 deaths related to COVID-19 in California have been linked to nursing homes, and the share of nursing home residents among the dead has grown as the pandemic has persisted.” This has led to some nursing homes demanding care homes for the elderly be shielded from any potential lawsuits and prosecutions. The lobbying has drawn criticism across the board, with many senior lawyers seeing any potential immunization of care homes as not in the public interest.
What To Do if You Or a Family Member Have a Similar Experience
Does Ricardo Saldana’s story resonate with you because it is similar to an experience that you have had with a nursing home?
If you or a family member have had an issue with a nursing home and COVID-19 in Glendale or anywhere across Los Angeles, you might be able to take legal action. You may look to recover damages that could help pay medical bills, to compensate for loss of income, and/or for pain and suffering where the nursing home has been negligent.
Nursing home professionals have a duty of care to their residents. This means they have to take steps within the scope of their employment to protect their residents from COVID 19 – such as through wearing masks and gloves.
If you think any of the above applies to you, one of the experienced and knowledgeable Glendale personal injury attorneys will be able to look over your case and determine the strength of your claim.
Give us a call on: (888) 529-3111.