Wanaque Center NJ Reaches $6M Agreement With Adenovirus Families

Families of children who were victims of the 2018 virus outbreak at a medical facility in New Jersey recently reached a $6 million settlement with their former owners, according to a new report.

NJ.com reported Monday that after filing the lawsuit in 2020, 13 families of critically ill children who either died or were critically ill from the adenovirus spread at the Wanck Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation were up to a $6.2 million settlement last month. let agreed. .

“It was a siren call for the world to be prepared as the pandemic hit,” Paul da Costa, an attorney for 13 families, told the publication. “It showed that all long-term facilities need to take their duty and obligation more seriously and remember that this is something that should never be betrayed.”

Investigators found that eleven children in pediatric nursing homes died and 25 became ill from adenovirus spread due to poor hygiene and protocols. The New Jersey Department of Health said it was notified of an adenovirus outbreak at the 227-bed Haskell Nursing Home on October 9, 2018.

Late that month, a worker at a New Jersey rehabilitation center said the facility’s “dirty” rooms, old and rusty equipment, mold and poor maintenance were partly to blame for the virus outbreak. But the top staff turned a blind eye to the staff’s concerns about the deteriorating conditions and paid attention only when health officials were about to inspect the facility, the worker claimed at the time.

The Vanak Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation agreed to pay $6.2 million in a settlement to 13 families who lost their children due to an adenovirus outbreak in 2018.
The Vanak Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation agreed to pay $6.2 million in a settlement to 13 families who lost their babies to an adenovirus outbreak in 2018.
AP Photo/Julio Cortez

“[These patients] Worth taking care of,” the tipster said. “They’re not getting even a quarter of what they’re paying for.”

The New Jersey Department of Health said in a 2018 statement that the adenovirus strain, type 7, circulating in New Jersey nursing homes, “is associated with communal living arrangements and causes serious illness.”

Online records show the center receives regular inspections, and in August 2018, six health deficiencies were cited, including a failure to “provide and implement infection prevention and control programs”.

Eleven children died and 25 became ill at the Vanak Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation, an adenovirus spread due to subpar hygiene and protocols.
Eleven children died and 25 became ill at the Vanak Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation, an adenovirus spread due to subpar hygiene and protocols.
David McGlynn

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, washing hands with soap and water, avoiding touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unclean hands and avoiding close contact with people who are sick can help slow the spread of adenovirus. When a team of health officials visited the medical facility to investigate, they said they found “minor hand-washing deficiencies” there.

Outbreaks of respiratory illness – which typically cause mild, cold-like symptoms, sore throat, bronchitis, pneumonia, diarrhea and acute respiratory disease – infect many children with weakened immune systems, leading to serious health consequences. Huh. According to the report, the families claimed in the 2019 lawsuit that the children with disabilities died due to the negligence of the employees and the owner.

Among the dead was 4-year-old Dorkes Dolcin, whose mother, Modeline Auguste, told NJ.com: “No amount is enough to pay attention to what these families are going through.”

According to the CDC, adenoviruses cause mild, cold-like symptoms that can be fatal for someone with an already weakened immune system.
According to the CDC, adenoviruses cause mild, cold-like symptoms that can be fatal for someone with an already weakened immune system.

The New Jersey facility was sold and renamed in 2019.

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