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Lawsuit filed over COVID-19 deaths at Whitefish Care and Rehabilitation Center

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Posted at 5:04 PM, Oct 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-21 14:53:31-04

KALISPELL — A lawsuit has been filed against the Whitefish Care and Rehabilitation Center where several COVID-19 related deaths among residents have been reported.

The complaint, filed in Flathead County District Court, alleges that residents “unnecessarily contracted or died of COVID-19; experienced unnecessary complications related to COVID-19; or were neglected, abused, malnourished or otherwise mistreated under the guise of “COVID-19 precautions” as a result of the negligent management and business practices,” according to a news release from the law firms representing the plaintiffs.

The families allege in the court action that Whitefish Care and Rehabilitation Center “failed to provide a safe environment during the COVID-19 outbreak and failed to establish and maintain a basic and reasonable infection prevention and control program designed to provide and maintain a safe and sanitary environment for this at-risk population of residents.”

According to the news release, the families also allege that the facility did not “provide adequate and basic personal care to residents during the pandemic, failed to inform resident representatives of the deteriorating conditions inside the facility, and have concealed their neglect behind COVID-19 restrictions.”

Roger Sullivan, senior attorney with McGarvey Law, stated that “the complaint alleges treatment of elders from our community that is both negligent and a violation of their fundamental right to be treated with human dignity.”

McGarvey Law of Kalispell and Heenan & Cook of Billings filed the court action.

Whitefish Care and Rehab Executive Director Reid Crickmore told MTN News in response to an email we sent “I have no comment on this at this time as it is so new.”