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Massachusetts to pay $56 million over deadly COVID outbreak at veterans’ home -Breaking


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO – Signs of support are displayed outside Soldiers Home. This is where 88 veterans died from COVID-19, an outbreak that struck Holyoke (Massachusetts, U.S.A.), May 13, 2020. REUTERS/Brian Snyder

Nate Raymond

BOSTON (Reuters – Massachusetts has paid $56 Million to settle a lawsuit filed by relatives of veterans who died from COVID-19 in an outbreak that occurred at a Veterans’ Care Center. The outbreak claimed 84 victims.

This proposed settlement would settle a federal class-action lawsuit filed by veterans’ families who lost their loved ones in the 2020 influenza outbreak at Holyoke Soliders’ Home. It is one of America’s most tragic nursing homes.

According to Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker, the settlement will provide minimum $400,000 in funeral benefits for veteran families, while those who have survived COVID-19 would get at most $10,000.

Baker stated that while we are not able to bring back the lost, he hopes the settlement will provide closure for the families of veterans.

Court approval is required for the settlement to cover more than 160 veterans who died or became ill between March 1 and June 23 2020.

Baker is a Republican who has been criticised for his handling of Holyoke Soldiers Home’s outbreak. This 247-bed state-run facility provides nursing, healthcare and other services to vets.

Bennett Walsh was removed as the ex-director of the facility after the deadly epidemic. This triggered a number of investigations into the leadership problems and other issues at the facility.

Walsh and David Clinton, the former Medical Director were both charged in September 2020 with criminal negligence for their handling of the outbreak. However, a November 2021 judge dismissed these charges. Appeal is being made by the state’s attorney-general.

The settlement is roughly comparable to one made in New Jersey last December, when $53 million was agreed for the purpose of resolving claims from families of veterans who had died due to COVID-19 at state-run facilities.