KIRKLAND, Wash. — A woman whose mother allegedly died from coronavirus (COVID-19) at the Life Care Center of Kirkland is now suing the nursing home and its parent company.
Deborah de los Angeles filed a wrongful death lawsuit in King County Superior Court this week on behalf of her late mother, Twilla June Morin.
The lawsuit accuses the facility of waiting 17 days after the outbreak started to report any cases of COVID-19 to the state or county officials.
“Although Defendants were on high-alert for COVID-19 since January 2020, they lacked a clear plan of action leading to a systemic failure,” read the lawsuit. “Instead of quarantining residents and staff, Defendants admitted new residents and threw a Mardi Gras party. Instead of immediately notifying authorities of a 'flu' outbreak, Defendants sat on it for 17 days before reporting anything.”
At least 129 cases and over 37 deaths from coronavirus are linked to the facility, according to the lawsuit.
Angeles learned of her mother’s death in voicemails from the staff at Life Care Center on March 4. She couldn’t see her mother before she died due to the safety risks, the lawsuit said.
Life Care Center released a statement Saturday: "Our hearts go out to this family and the loss they have suffered during this unprecedented viral outbreak. We are unable to comment on specific legal cases that are pending, but we wish this and all families peace. The loss of any of our residents at Life Care Center of Kirkland is felt deeply by us."
Earlier this month, Life Care Center was fined $611,325 after federal surveyors found “immediate jeopardy” situations during an inspection.
The immediate jeopardy specifically included: the facility's failure to quickly identify and manage ill residents, notify the Washington State Department of Health about the increasing rate of respiratory infection among residents, and failure to possess a backup plan following the absence of the Life Care Center's primary clinician - who became ill.