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29 May, 2020 14:17

Staff with no masks, bosses likening Covid-19 to flu: US family tell RT of legal vendetta over their father’s death at care home

Staff with no masks, bosses likening Covid-19 to flu: US family tell RT of legal vendetta over their father’s death at care home

An elderly Californian died a lonely death after sharing a room with a Covid-19 patient at a care home where staff weren’t allowed to wear masks as bosses feared the facility could be shut down, his daughter and lawyer told RT.

The family of Ricardo Saldana, aged 77, argue that their loved one – who dwelled at Glenhaven, a nursing home located in Glendale, California – would have stayed healthy if the facility had properly shielded residents from the Covid-19 outbreak.

Instead, Glenhaven staff put a person, already exposed to the contagion, in the same room as Saldana, leaving him defenseless against the virus.

“It was negligence [by] the nursing facility,” his daughter Jackie Saldana recalled when speaking to RT, revealing that as a result her father quickly developed breathing difficulties, spending his last days on a ventilator.

READ MORE: Covid-19 is massacring US elderly in nursing homes, neglected for years by a power-hungry industry

Tragically, she was only able to bid farewell to the man who was “a fighter” and “a best friend” during a video call. “But he couldn’t respond because he had an oxygen mask over his face,” the woman said, with her voice slightly trembling.

Now, the death of the 77-year-old has led relatives to roll out a lawsuit against Glenhaven, which, as their lawyer Scott Glovsky says, recklessly downplayed the danger of Covid-19.

We’ve heard from folks within the staff all of the information that’s come to light, including the fact that Glenhaven were not allowing nurses or staff to wear masks.

Making matters worse, the management tried to persuade staff that the virus – which has claimed close to 102,000 American lives so far – isn’t a big deal. “They specifically had a meeting with their staff and said the coronavirus was like the flu that no one needed to worry about,” he told RT.

Citing an insider who worked at Glenhaven, Glovsky revealed that when a local fire department brought protective equipment to the care home, it wasn’t distributed among nurses, obviously because they “didn’t want people to get alarmed and didn’t want the home to be shut down.”

The care home was covering up the death toll, he carried on, claiming there was “a lag time generally between the time deaths are happening to when the deaths are actually reported to the county.”

Aside from that, Glenhaven tried to sweep the issue under the carpet, the lawyer opined.

This would not have come to light if it weren’t for one of the staff members contacting Saldana and saying, “please, contact the county, contact the state, contact the authorities to let them know what’s going on here because we were not allowed to wear masks,” Glovsky pointed out.

The lawsuit, filed to state court earlier this month, seeks to prevent the bitter history from repeating itself anywhere else, the lawyer stated.

They have a responsibility to protect their residents, they get paid to protect their residents. Glenhaven absolutely failed … they recklessly and needlessly endangered people and killed people.

The Saldana family’s tragedy is similar to many others that have happened to nursing home residents across the United States. In mid-May, it emerged that roughly one-third of all US Covid-19 victims were nursing home residents or caregivers working in those facilities.

Mortality among those dwelling in care homes remains an issue on the other side of the Atlantic as well. In France and the UK, for instance, families are also suing nursing facilities for the dire situation that led to the deaths of their relatives.

Also on rt.com French care homes face manslaughter investigation: Victims’ lawyer tells RT details of ‘scandal amid epidemic’

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