LI Patch Reports on Leitner Varughese Warywoda Nursing Home Wrongful Death Lawsuit
LI Woman Files Wrongful Death Lawsuit Against Nursing Home
A woman sued Our Lady of Consolation Nursing & Rehabilitative Care Center after her 78-year-old mother died of the coronavirus.
Jun 15, 2020 4:56 pm ET | Updated Jun 17, 2020 3:03 pm ET
Deer Park resident Vivian Zayas, who brought her mother to Our Lady of Consolation Nursing & Rehabilitative Care Center in West Islip, recently filed a lawsuit following the death of her 78-year-old mother, Ana Celia Martinez. (Image via Google Maps)
WEST ISLIP, NY — A Long Island woman filed a wrongful death lawsuit against a local nursing home, claiming staff neglected her mother when she contracted the coronavirus and eventually died.
Deer Park resident Vivian Zayas, who brought her mother to Our Lady of Consolation Nursing & Rehabilitative Care Center in West Islip, recently filed the lawsuit following the death of her 78-year-old mother, Ana Celia Martinez.
The lawsuit, provided by Zayas attorney, Brett Leitner, claims the nursing home failed to prepare for the coronavirus pandemic and care for residents.
Patch contacted the nursing home for comment on the lawsuit and has not heard back.
Martinez was one of 39 patients who died of the coronavirus at the nursing home, according to state records. It was the highest coronavirus death toll of any nursing facility in Suffolk County and sixth-highest in the state.
The lawsuit claims that before the coronavirus crisis, Our Lady of Consolation received 31 citations under federal and state regulations for failing to provide and implement proper infection control procedures between 2016 and 2020. Leading up to and during the coronavirus pandemic, the nursing home failed to isolate residents known or suspected to have the virus, according to the lawsuit.
In February, the nursing home was placed on notice by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services that the coronavirus can rapidly appear and spread, according to the lawsuit. The nursing home was warned that staff should be prepared for a possible pandemic and obtain enough personal protective equipment.
After her mother's death, Zayas and her sister, Alexa Rivera, started the group "Voices For Seniors" and connected with families who also lost loved ones to the coronavirus. The group hosted a protest in front of the nursing home last month to demand more transparency.
The nursing home issued this statement in response: "It's very unfortunate that this group would stage a protest on Mother's Day. We have a long history of providing quality care to all residents, and we have staff, nurses and doctors who are mothers. They have dedicated themselves to providing quality care and ensuring the safety our of residents throughout this pandemic. There is constant ongoing communication with each patient and their family members."