- Associated Press - Friday, November 27, 2020

KALISPELL, Mont. (AP) - A lawsuit against a long-term care facility in Whitefish, Montana, has been amended to add claims that it was part of a multi-state network of facilities that enriched corporate owners while residents received negligent care.

The lawsuit was initially filed last month by the estates of three residents at Whitefish Care and Rehabilitation who died because of complications caused by COVID-19, the Flathead Beacon reported.

The lawsuit initially represented the estates of Alton Johnson, Berton Pew and Stanley Webber, and said at least 13 people died at the facility because of the outbreak. The county had 23 coronavirus-related deaths.

Court filings said Johnson died Sept. 7, one day before his family was set to remove him from the facility. Pew developed COVID-19 symptoms while at the home and was transferred to the virus wing without his family being immediately notified, the lawsuit claims.

Webber lost about 40 pounds (18 kilograms) before he died Sept. 14, the lawsuit said, adding that he was in good health before he was admitted to the facility.



The lawsuit initially named the 100-bed facility and its administrator Reid Crickmore and has since been amended to include other plaintiffs and allegations.

A telephone message left for Crickmore on Friday by The Associated Press was not immediately returned.

The lawsuit added defendants that included corporate entities based in Montana, Nevada, Delaware and California, saying they share “common and/or overlapping identity, ownership, financial assets, business assets, management structure, members, offices, accounting, and/or principal place of business.”

The lawsuit claims the aim was to reduce the cost of operation and to increase financial returns from the business despite the “resulting obvious insufficient care provided to residents” during the pandemic.

Sign up for Daily Newsletters

Manage Newsletters

Copyright © 2021 The Washington Times, LLC.

Please read our comment policy before commenting.

 

Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide