Governor Phil Murphy and the State of New Jersey are still under investigation by the Department of Justice after sending COVID-19 infected senior citizens and veterans into nursing homes, creating an outbreak that killed dozens, if not hundreds of otherwise healthy seniors living in the state’s veterans homes.
The state was accused of ‘gross negligence after a memo issued by Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli and authorized by Governor Murphy barred nursing homes from refusing to admit COVID-19 positive residents re-entry. Under the $52.9 million settlement, families of the deceased will receive about $445,000 each.
The state-run homes in Menlo Park and Paramus bore the brunt of the decision by Murphy and Persichilli, recording over 200 deaths during the start of the pandemic.
Some of the claims made in the case refer to the state directing nursing homes to use gloves or facemasks because of they ‘scared’ residents to a breakdown in proper medical treatment and handling of the virus outbreaks.
After sending fact-finding questionnaires to four states into the higher than normal COVID-19 death rates, New Jersey was cited for not fully complying. The DOJ eventually dropped its case against other states, but the investigation into the state-run homes continues.