A California memory care operator is being sued by the family of a 32-year-old worker who died from COVID-19 complications after the community allegedly failed to properly screen a new resident.
Craig Ringo and Kim Bruner-Ringo, the parents of Brittany C. Ringo, filed suit last week in Los Angeles Superior Court against Silverado. The suit alleges that Brittany Ringo, a nurse at Los Angeles-based Silverado Beverly Place, contracted COVID-19 and died from complications after the community moved in a new resident.
“Our hearts go out to the family for their tragic loss,” Silverado Senior Vice President of Communications Jeff Frum said. Silverado’s policy is to not comment on active litigation, he added.
The suit alleges that the community admitted a new resident, a doctor from New York City who showed COVID-19-related symptoms, despite being in lockdown to avoid the spread of the virus, according to City News Services. The suit refers to this person as “Patient Zero” because there were no positive cases at the community before he moved in on March 19.
Ringo, who had a history of diabetes, was assigned to care for Patient Zero the night he arrived. Thirteen residents at the community and one staff member, Ringo, have died from the virus, and 97 staff members and residents have been infected.
“She became infected because corporate decision-makers chose to skirt safety and infection control standards, some of which they themselves voluntarily adopted,” the suit states, according to the news outlet. “This decision to admit Patient Zero put at risk each of the existing residents and staff, for no other purpose than to make money.”
Ringo self-quarantined after having a cough and runny nose within days of treating Patient Zero. Her condition worsened, and she was taken to Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, where she was intubated. Her health appeared to be improving, but an April 20 power failure at the hospital impaired the ventilator helping Ringo breathe. She went into cardiac arrest and could not be resuscitated, according to City News Service.
The parents also are suing UCLA-Medical Center, alleging that the power loss and ventilator malfunction contributed to Ringo’s death.
Ringo’s parents are seeking unspecified compensatory and punitive damages.