Amid the first COVID-19 surge to sweep across the county, Meyers & Flowers filed the first coronavirus-related nursing home wrongful death lawsuits in Illinois and was among some of the first filed actions in the United States. Several additional lawsuits have since been filed against Bria in connection to the rampant outbreak that killed more than 25% of its residents and infected more than 80% of its residents and staff due to its alleged failure to follow the required COVID-19 precautions mandated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Illinois Department of Public Health.
Bria of Geneva commercializes its long-term care facility as an elite status Tier 1 Preferred Plus Provider, priding itself on its skilled nursing program that is claims is individually tailored for each resident. Despite the institution’s self-proclaimed accolades, Bria of Geneva was among one of the hardest-hit nursing homes in the state. More than 145 residents have been infected to date and 30 have died according to statistics published by the Illinois Department of Public Health.
The five lawsuits filed against Bria by Michael W. Lenert and Peter J. Flowers in May 2020 detail the multitude of failures by the nursing home, including failing to conduct testing of its residents, failing to isolate symptomatic residents, failing to provide staff and residents with adequate personal protective equipment, disregarding social distancing guidelines, and failing to contact the Kane County Health Department and/or the IDPH about symptomatic residents.
Bria of Geneva filed motions to dismiss each of the lawsuits by raising various arguments, including that the claims of willful and wanton conduct against Bria were insufficient as a matter of law. “Bria-Geneva’s gross negligence in this matter is irrefutable and it is unfortunate that Bria refuses to accept any responsibility for the lives lost under its supervision and care,” said Mr. Flowers.
Michael Lenert argued against Bria’s Motions to Dismiss at the December 9th hearing in Kane County. According to Mr. Lenert, “The countless allegations of wrongdoing detailed in our complaint sufficiently establish Bria’s utter indifference for the safety and well-being of its residents. We are pleased the Court agreed and that we will ultimately be able to conduct meaningful discovery in this matter. Nursing homes that refuse to do everything within their power to protect their vulnerable residents must be held accountable.”
With the reemergence of a second wave of COVID-19, it is imperative that nursing homes take actions to protect their residents and lessen the spread. The qualified attorneys at Meyers & Flowers are prepared to continue to take on nursing homes for their failure to facilitate and follow simple, live-saving protocols. Long-term care facilities must be held accountable to ensure all necessary guidelines are enforced for the benefit of both current and future residents.
If you or someone you love has been a victim of a nursing home’s negligence, please contact our team of lawyers who stand ready to help. Contact us at 877-221-2511 or online to request a free case evaluation.
Additional information on the Bria of Geneva filings: