Two new lawsuits have been filed against the State of New Jersey by the family members of Covid-19 victims accusing Governor Phil Murphy and Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli of causing deadly conditions in nursing homes, the NJ Monitor reports.
The lawsuits are critical of policies that forced nursing homes to admit Covid-19-positive patients and “failing to adequately distribute face masks, gloves, and other personal protective equipment in long-term care facilities in the pandemic’s early days,” among other complaints.
“Through the directive, the nursing homes were thrown under the bus,” an attorney wrote in one of the lawsuits.
As of early 2022, over 200,000 U.S. nursing home staff and residents had died of Covid-19. New Jersey’s nursing home death rate (120.1 per 1,000 residents) is second-worst in the nation, behind only Massachusetts.
“The Murphy Administration’s abhorant record in relation to our state’s nursing home facilities remains one of the Covid-19 era’s most shameful chapters,” activist group Save Jersey wrote on its website.
Late last year, New Jersey paid $53 million to families of 119 veterans home residents who had died of Covid-19, all but admitting the plan to contain the virus in assisted living facilities was epically botched.
There is still an ongoing federal civil rights probe into New Jersey’s handling of the Covid-19 pandemic in assisted living facilities.