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San Diego, California – The daughter of a resident who passed away from COVID-19 complications has filed a lawsuit against the Springs at Pacific Regent La Jolla skilled nursing facility. She is represented by Brayton Purcell LLP.

“We as a society measure ourselves in part by how we care for our elder citizens–citizens with special needs and vulnerabilities who often require unique health care services, monitoring, care, treatment, and protection.”, said counsel for the Hugle family, Gilbert Purcell, Esq of Brayton Purcell LLP.

Lenard Hugle, Jr., passed away on April 18, 2020. Mr. Hugle suffered a stroke in February of 2020. As a result of the stroke, he lost some of his ability to speak and was admitted to the Springs at Pacific Regent La Jolla skilled nursing facility.

While at the facility, Mr. Hugle’s roommate happened to be the father of his speech therapist. The therapist spent a lot of time in the room with her father when she was not treating other patients.

As of March 14, Mr. Hugle’s family was no longer able to visit him as a result of COVID-19. A few days later, his daughter was notified by an administrator at the facility that her father’s roommate had contracted COVID-19 and had been transferred to a hospital treating COVID-19 patients.

Mr. Hugle’s speech therapist continued to treat him despite her possible exposure to COVID-19 from her own father. His daughter contacted the facility and questioned whether or not the speech therapist should still be seeing patients. She was told that the therapist was asymptomatic and would wear a mask when treating her father so the risks should be minimized.

Shortly thereafter, Mr. Hugle was diagnosed with COVID-19 by early April and passed away on April 18, 2020.

California Department of Health officials released the names of 261 nursing homes with COVID-19 outbreaks, including 11 located in San Diego County. The Springs at Pacific Regent was reported to have both staff members and patients test positive for COVID-19.

Current residents of the Springs at Pacific Regent are concerned about the possibility of being exposed to COVID-19. The residents share common spaces like the kitchen, lobby, and patio as well as air conditioning and heating putting them at risk for exposure.

The Springs at Pacific Regent did not take the proper precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19, once they found out that their speech therapist’s father had been diagnosed with COVID-19 and continued to allow her to interact side by side with patients.

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 888-598-0314 to learn more about how Brayton Purcell LLP can help you.