A Massachusetts state judge on Monday dismissed criminal charges against two administrators of the Holyoke House of Soldiers, where the coronavirus outbreak killed 76 people, arguing that the administrators’ actions did not lead to infection.
Attorney General Maura Healy demanded a criminal charge the criminal neglect and injury of an elderly person against two administrators based on their decision to merge two understaffed dementia wards by amassing infected and uninfected men.
But Judge Edward J. McDonough, Jr. of the Hampden County Supreme Court wrote in his sacking that he believed the five veterans mentioned in this case were infected with the virus before the two divisions were merged, so administrators could not linger on. legal grounds. responsible.
“The grand jury was presented with insufficiently reliable evidence that if the two dementia departments had not been combined, the health status of any of these five veterans would have been significantly different,” he wrote.
Ms. Healy is weighing whether the decision should be appealed, the spokeswoman said.
“We are very disappointed with today’s decision, especially with regard to innocent victims and families affected by the actions of the accused,” said Gillian Fennimore.
Criminal charges against two administrators – Superintendent Bennett Walsh and Medical Director David Clinton – were considered the first ever to be brought against nursing home staff in the country, and if convicted, they faced years or even decades in prison.
Due to a shortage of staff at the institution, units were merged, which had a total of 42 residents with different Covid-19 statuses, and residents with a positive or symptomatic diagnosis were placed in a room that usually contained four veterans. Independent investigation of the deaths, nurses were quoted as saying they knew switching to harvesters would be fatal for many of their patients.
Relatives of the veterans killed at the facility expressed their dissatisfaction with the judge’s decision on Monday.
“Absolutely disgusting, our veterans and their families appear to be disposable items,” wrote Susan Perez, whose father, James Miller, died at home, adding: “Obviously no one is responsible for the deaths of the veterans and the injuries to their families. … “