Nursing Homes Declared “Death Camps” by Residents

two ladies looking at a phone

Linda Mayberry, a resident in a southern California nursing home, took to the internet after the COVID-19 pandemic shut down normal life in much of the world.

She began to notice that vulnerable residents were beginning to get sick despite health measures being in place. She noticed deaths in nursing homes were skyrocketing in nursing homes. Twelve residents in her same facility have died from COVID-19 to date.

In April, Mayberry learned of a resident in her building that had tested positive for COVID-19.

Mayberry, in an effort to reach the outside world with her concerns, took to Twitter. She sent tweets about the conditions from inside what she describes as a “death camp” with no ability to test patients or staff for COVID-19.  When nursing homes staff learned of her efforts to reach the outside world via Twitter, she was “grilled by a corporate bigwig.”

Many nursing home residents felt extremely isolated, being shut in and away from their family and friends. Those who have debilitating conditions are not able to express their concerns or share their stories.

A few weeks after the shutdown began, Mayberry was informed that she had contracted the virus and was moved down the hall, past a barricade of plastic sheeting to an isolation unit. “Keeping the sick here and not testing the staff was a recipe for disaster,” she told reporters in late May.

Mayberry’s temperature became slightly elevated and she noticed that her oxygen levels were lower than usual when she checked them herself using a pulse oximeter, but otherwise she said she was mainly asymptomatic.

The nursing home she resides in, then started to neglect her. She wasn’t given a shower for more than one month and was not assisted out of her bed.

After she was tested again after some time, was showered and moved back to her room from isolation. It is believed that these actions were prompted by her no longer having COVID-19, but it was not made clear to her.

The spokesperson for the nursing facility claims that all “normal routines for patient care have been adjusted, particularly for those patients who have tested positive.” He said the facility is starting to see residents recover from the virus, and that when someone is listed as recovered, they are moved into a new wing of the nursing home — apart from those residents who are positive or negative.

Recently, Brayton Purcell LLP has filed a suit for the death of a nursing home resident during the COVID-19 pandemic. Read our press release here.

Your Legal Options

The COVID-19 pandemic has placed at-risk individuals, like the elderly, in situations and conditions that can make them more vulnerable to contracting COVID-19. Some nursing homes and skilled nursing facilities are to blame for elderly residents being put at risk of contracting the virus. If your loved one has become ill with COVID-19 or dies, or if you feel they have been improperly cared for in a nursing home or skilled nursing facility, you may have a negligence lawsuit, especially if the facility didn’t take precautions to prevent exposure. Please contact Hugh Cook at 800-598-0314 to learn more about how Brayton Purcell LLP can help you.