Massachusetts Brings Criminal Charges Against Soldier’s Home Administrators for Covid-19 Deaths

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The former leaders of a state-run veteran’s nursing home in Massachusetts were indicted on criminal charges brought on by Attorney General Healey last week, facing possible jail time for their alleged roles in the mistreatment of residents at the Soldiers’ Home in Holyoke. The indictment arrives six months after a criminal investigation was launched by the Attorney General, finding at least 76 veterans had passed away in the home due to Covid-19, while another 84 residents and 80 staff members have since tested positive for the virus. 

Massachusetts has brought charges against Bennett Walsh, a retired Marine lieutenant colonel who had been appointed to superintend the home by Governor Baker, as well as David Clinton, the former medical director of the home. “We are alleging that Walsh and Clinton were ultimately responsible for a decision on March 27th that led to tragic and deadly results,” Attorney General Healey reported to the Washington Post on Friday, referring to multiple counts of charges for “abuse, neglect, or mistreatment of an elderly or disabled person” and “a caretaker who wantonly or recklessly commits or permits bodily injury to an elder or disabled person”. Healey specifically mentioned the consolidation of two dementia units in the home, in which patients who had tested positive for COVID were placed within mere feet of those who had not, and another unit, that usually houses 25 residents, but was found packed with 42 residents. Whether others involved at the Soldiers’ home or the Department of Veterans’ Services might face discipline remains unclear. 

Unfortunately, more and more evidence is being uncovered regarding reckless conduct by nursing homes and other facilities carrying for the elderly infirmed during the COVID-19 pandemic. SUGARMAN has a long history of pursuing and litigating claims of those harmed in nursing homes and residential facilities.  If you or a loved one has suffered or been injured, SUGARMAN’s personal injury lawyers can help.  Fill out a Contact Form, call us at 617-542-1000 or email info@sugarman.com.