The state of New Jersey will pay $53 million to 119 families who lost family members to coronavirus after the state put them in nursing homes that had uncontrolled COVID outbreaks during the earliest days of the pandemic.
“The families will receive an average share of $445,000 from the $52,955,000 total settlement, which was confirmed to NJ.com, though the exact amount each family will receive is yet to be decided,” reported the Daily Mail.
“Cases settle for a variety of reasons,” said a government official who spoke on background to NJ.com.
“The families of those who have lost their lives to COVID-19 have gone through so much,” the official continued. “This settlement will hopefully allow them to move forward without years of protracted and uncertain litigation.”
Some people however, weren’t going to let Murphy off the hook for the deaths.
Why isn’t anyone in NJ going after @PhilMurphyNJ for the massive carnage he caused in our nursing homes & state run veteran’s facilities?
— Costa Rica Jersey Jackass (@Oldglorycries) December 23, 2021
“Why isn’t anyone in NJ going after @PhilMurphyNJ for the massive carnage he caused in our nursing homes & state run veteran’s facilities?” asked one Twitter user.
The families sued after it was apparent that routine safety precautions were being neglected as COVID tore through nursing home facilities in the Northeast in the spring of 2020, causing deaths not just in New Jersey, but also in New York and other blue-run states
Former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo was forced to resign in scandal after it came to light that his office had intentionally under-reported the state’s nursing home deaths. That set the stage for a second scandal concerning his sexual harassment and abuse of more than a dozen female subordinates.
Just the News said that some of the policies at nursing homes that caused fatalities include “early directives to staff not to use masks or gloves … failure to test residents and staff in a timely manner” and “allowing staff members who were exposed or tested positive for the coronavirus to continue to work.”
The federal government is continuing to investigate the deaths at New Jersey nursing homes—a process stated under Trump and continues under Biden—even as the potential civil suits are settled.
“Specifically, the Justice Department has raised questions over whether the number of deaths in the veterans homes had been understated, and whether the state should not have ordered nursing homes to accept residents who had been treated for COVID-19 in a hospital,” said NJ.com.