August 5, 2021

DCTRS

Damascus Center for Theoretical and Civil Rights Studies

Upscale dementia care home sued over COVID-19 deaths

Relatives of three residents and a nurse who died following a coronavirus outbreak at an upscale Westside care facility for dementia patients are suing the home, alleging its owners placed residents and staff at risk by admitting a New York man infected with the virus.

The lawsuits filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court last week contend the home’s Irvine-based parent company, Silverado Senior Living, its chief executive Loren Shook, and a site supervisor are liable for wrongful death and elder abuse and neglect.

“Mr. Khorsandi did not get infected with the coronavirus due to some unforeseen act-of-God,” the suit filed by the family of Jakob Khorsandi, an 81-year-old who died in April, states. “Rather, he became infected because the corporate decision-makers chose to skirt safety and infection control standards.”

Close to 100 residents and staff contracted the virus in the spring at the Silverado Beverly Place facility in the Beverly Grove neighborhood, and 14 died, making it among California’s worst coronavirus outbreaks in an assisted living facility.

When the virus began rapidly spreading in California in mid-March, officials implemented a statewide lockdown and strict stay-at-home orders. During that time, the facility allowed a retired Manhattan surgeon to move in despite the lockdown, which banned relatives and other visitors. The surgeon arrived at the Silverado, where costs can run $15,000 a month, straight from Los Angeles International Airport and mixed with other residents in a dining area. The following day, he was hospitalized with COVID-19 symptoms.

“They applied a double standard: Keep family and private caretakers out, but let new paying customers in,” Jody Moore, an attorney for the families, said in a statement. Two residents who survived the virus also have filed suit.

A Silverado spokesman, Jeff Frum, said the company “will not comment on any active litigation.”

The company has previously said the surgeon was not symptomatic at the time of his admission and had a pressing need for care.

Among the surviving relatives bringing the suit are the parents of a 32-year-old Silverado nurse, Brittany Bruner-Ringo who helped move the surgeon into his room and died a month later.