A man has filed wrongful death cases against a Brooklyn nursing home after both of his parents contracted COVID-19 there and died during the early months of the pandemic, new court papers show.
Frank Minaudo, 66, placed his elderly, ailing parents into Sunrise at Sheepshead Bay right before the pandemic hit, believing they would receive the best possible care at the facility, he told The Post.
But when the lockdown started, he would never see his parents again in person, instead only speaking with his mom on roughly three video calls, the Fort Greene, Brooklyn, man said.
“I went there one day and they said, ‘You can’t come on the property. There is a quarantine’ and that was it … I didn’t see them after that day,” the son said, noting he remembers the time because it was around his birthday on March 17.
Minaudo said he thought, “’When this is over, it will be OK and I will make up for lost time.’ Then months went on.”
“They died a horrible death. They died alone,” he said, noting that his parents lived on different floors of the facility.
Minaudo filed separate lawsuits against the facility on behalf of each parent for its “failure to adequately care for and protect its elderly and vulnerable residents, which led to the death of” parents Mario, 90, and Marie, 86, the filings allege.
Mario died on April 15 after he was transferred to a hospital and Marie died on June 4 at Sunrise, Minaudo said.
The suit also references a controversial state Department of Health directive requiring nursing homes to readmit residents who tested positive for COVID-19 — which would be rescinded under public pressure by May 2020.
Sunrise accepted COVID patients “with the knowledge that the policies implemented would increase the risk of contracting disease, causing sickness and death in patients and residents,” the suit charges.
Minaudo’s lawyer, Jeffrey Guzman, told The Post, “They were taking in COVID-positive patients when they darn well knew that in taking in these patients they didn’t have the quarantining facilities and the personal protective equipment to make sure that existing non-covid positive patients weren’t going to contract COVID.”
Guzman says he has over a hundred clients all over the state who have filed claims against nursing homes for how they allegedly mishandled the elderly during the pandemic.
Over 15,000 nursing home residents died during the pandemic.
Sunrise didn’t immediately return a request for comment.