Woman Sues Reseda Home Over Mother's Death From COVID-19

LOS ANGELES (CNS) - A woman is suing a Reseda nursing home, alleging insufficient safety measures there caused the death of her 66-year-old mother on May 19.

Plaintiff Griselda Nava's mother, Florentina Lopez, had lived at the Center at Park West since December 2012 after she suffered a stroke, according to the Los Angeles Superior Court lawsuit filed Monday, which alleges wrongful death, elder abuse, willful misconduct and negligence.

Park West “did not tell Griselda the extent to which COVID-19 had infiltrated the facility and did not tell her once her mother started evidencing signs of the virus,'' the suit states.

The facility also did not test any of its residents itself until on or after May 22, the suit states.

“At this point, Florentina was already dead...,'' the suit states.

A Park West representative could not be immediately reached for comment. Lopez's health impairments left her wholly dependent upon Park West for nearly all activities of daily life, including clothing, laundry, hydration, hygiene, mobility, medication and treatments, the suit states. She was wheelchair-bound, but she could feed herself and have simple conversations and up until May she could communicate with Nava, the suit states.

Months after California and Los Angeles County were declaring a state of emergency regarding the coronavirus, Park West failed to implement appropriate safety measures, the suit states. Through April and May, Park West's leadership learned that multiple members of its staff tested or were suspected of having the coronavirus, but did not inform residents or their families, the suit states.

“This is because Park West failed to keep sufficient staffing levels and did not want to spend money to hire additional staff to cover for any staff members that were infected,'' the suit alleges.

The nursing home also did not provide its employees, even those with the virus, with any personal protective equipment as late as May, the suit states.

The suit alleges Park West was understaffed and that the problem became more apparent with the spread of COVID-19.

During the last week of April, someone in the administration office called Nava and told her that the facility learned of three confirmed cases of COVID-19 among its staff, the suit states. Nava asked him if these staff members were taking care of residents, but he would not answer, the suit states.

Nava visited her mother on Mother's Day and brought food for her, the suit states. Nava was able to watch her mother eat the food from outside a window and interact with her and she appeared healthy, the suit states.

“This was the last time that Griselda was able to see her mother alive,'' the suit states.

Lopez died from the coronavirus on May 19, according to the suit, which alleges Park West took no measures to isolate Lopez from staff members and residents that it knew had or likely had COVID-19.

“This is a case about profits over people,'' the suit states.

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