L.A. Nursing Home Executives Face Charges Over Covid-19 Deaths

District Attorney George Gascon says that moving a patient from New York into the Fairfax senior living center caused the fatal outbreak

Executives overseeing a Los Angeles senior living home near Beverly Hills are facing criminal charges over a Covid-19 outbreak that prosecutors say led to the deaths of 13 residents and an employee during the onset of the pandemic, the Los Angeles District Attorney revealed today.

Charges have been filed against Silverado Senior Living Management Inc., its CEO and corporate officers and a facility administrator, L.A. County DA George Gascón announced Tuesday, in what he called the worst nursing home outbreak in the state of California.

Silverado’s CEO Loren Bernard Shook, its Administrator Jason Michael Russo, and Senior Vice President  Kimberly Cheryl Butrum now face 13 felony counts of elder endangerment and five felony counts of violations causing deaths.

“The investigation revealed that the Silverado management team was aware of the risks associated with admitting a new resident from a high-risk area and failed to follow the appropriate procedures to protect their employees and the vulnerable people in their care,” Gascón said.

“These careless decisions created conditions that needlessly exposed Silverado staff and its residents to serious injury—and tragically, death,” he added.

Gascón alleges that in March 2020, the Beverly Place facility in L.A.’s Fairfax District accepted a patient from New York, where Covid cases were already rising, without testing that individual. This was a violation of clinical standards. That patient, who transferred from a psychiatric facility in New York, was not quarantined or tested, prosecutors said.

That patient allegedly brought the coronavirus into the facility, leading to more than 100 infections and the deaths of 13 patients and a staffer. Those who died allegedly as a result of the patient’s admission ranged in age from 32 to 94, prosecutors say.

The executives are expected to be arraigned in a Los Angeles courtroom Tuesday afternoon. If convicted, they each face a maximum sentence of four years in prison.

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