Indian News

SC nursing home failed to care for patient who died from COVID, family says in lawsuit

Source: , Posted On:   30 March 2021

A patient at an Horry County nursing home never left her room, yet she was one of 16 residents to catch COVID-19 and die from the virus.

Her family says the medical staff is to blame.

Eartha Wells was a patient at Loris Rehab and Nursing Center, and on Monday her family filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the facility and its director. The Sun News previously reported that the family had filed a notice to sue, required by state law.

The suit says that Wells died from a “communicable disease which led to her death as a result of the facility failing to institute proper infection control measures through the facility.” Bradley H. Banyas, one of the lawyers on the case, confirmed to The Sun News that Wells died from coronavirus complications in May.

“When you got staff members clearly flaunting CDC guidelines, something clearly needs to be done,” Banyas said.

 

 

The notice does not specify which guidelines weren’t followed. Wells didn’t leave her room and interact with other patients, Banyas said.

The notice of medical malpractice is believed to be one of the first lawsuits over a COVID-19 death in not only Horry County but across South Carolina.

Officials from Wilson Senior Care, which oversees the facility on Stevens Street in Loris, did not return phone calls in time for this report.

NURSING HOME’S PANDEMIC STATISTICS

Wells moved into the Loris nursing home on Aug. 31, 2019. Since the pandemic started last year, 16 patients at the facility died from COVID-19, according to the most recent data from the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control.

 

 

There have been 64 total coronavirus cases in patients at the facility, according to the DHEC data, with 29 additional cases among staff members.

The Loris facility has reported more cases than other Horry County extended care facilities.

Spokeswoman for Wilson Senior Care Dianne Dennis said in May that its difficult to stop the virus when it enters a nursing home. The Loris center stopped group activities and barred visitors to help slow the spread.

“We will continue doing everything we can to prevent the spread of this virus within our facility,” she said.

In the notice over Wells’ death, lawyers say the center was negligent and that staff had an obligation to provide reasonable care.

 

The lack of care led to Wells’ death, the filing states. The family asked for an unspecified amount of money.