Some of the cases were filed on behalf of residents who contracted COVID-19 at Montefiore prior to Oct. 13, 2020, the date of an alleged COVID-19 testing falsification, which was self-reported to federal and state regulatory agencies. Beachwood nursing homes Menorah Park and Montefiore affiliated July 1, 2020.
“Approximately a year ago, an isolated and unfortunate incident occurred at Montefiore regarding COVID-19 testing,” Beth Silver, director of public relations and marketing for Menorah Park, wrote in an Oct. 12 emailed statement to the CJN.
“While we continue to address the repercussions of the incident from a year ago, we want to thank our caring community and the broader community-at-large for all of the support we have received over the past year,” Silver wrote. “We especially want to offer our thanks to the community for acknowledging our heroic staff who have shown up every day during this pandemic to do the essential work of caring for your loved ones with dedication. Thank you for continuing to trust and support us. It means so much to us to have the backing of our community at times like this.
“Consistent with our mission and values, our response was quick, straightforward and honest. We also made certain to inform those closest to us including our residents, families, staff and board. We acted in full knowledge that our decision would likely lead to some people choosing to sue. Accordingly, we weren’t surprised that close to the time of the anniversary of our notifications, a number of lawsuits would be filed.”
While the first wrongful death, nursing home neglect and/or medical malpractice lawsuit was filed Dec. 15, 2020, as the Cleveland Jewish News previously reported, nine have been filed in recent days in Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas.
The timing of the filings comes just ahead of Ohio’s one-year statute of limitations for medical malpractice. The statute of limitations for wrongful death is two years.
“With regard to lawsuits filed against Montefiore, we continue to respect the process, so we cannot comment on specifics of cases currently in active litigation.”
Hyman’s lawyer, Matthew Gurbach of Bricker & Eckler LLP of Cleveland, wrote the CJN Oct. 13: “Ariel looks forward to being able to present the facts of this case in an appropriate forum, which is a court and not in the media. Ariel has, and continues to, conduct himself professionally and steadfastly denies any wrongdoing.”
The lawsuits filed are listed below. Thomas Robenalt of the Robenalt Law Firm Inc. of Westlake sued Sept. 24 on behalf of Thomas Nemeth, executor of the estate of Anthony Berardinelli. Berardinelli was transferred to Montefiore Sept. 1, 2020, was diagnosed with COVID-19 Sept. 24, 2020, and died of SARS-COV2 on Oct. 17, 2020.
READ; Thomas Nemeth lawsuit Defendants are Montefiore, Montefiore Foundation, Montefiore Home, Montefiore Housing Corporation, Menorah Park Foundation and Hyman.
Robenalt said Berardinelli’s diagnosis took place prior to Oct. 13, 2020. “This (testing falsification) was not limited to the well published and admitted false testing by defendants, but went on prior to it being well published and admitted to by defendants …” he wrote.
Marie Wimberly, the daughter of Vivian C. Wilson. She was admitted to Montefiore for rehabilitation following knee surgery without COVID-19 on Sept. 6, 2020. She left Montefiore on an unspecified date and died Oct. 19, 2020, after being diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the Oct. 4 lawsuit.Robyn Finkenthal Kulbarsh, whose mother, Marlene Finkenthal, was admitted to Montefiore July 21, 2020. She was diagnosed with COVID-19 Nov. 3, 2020, and died Nov. 9, 2020, according to the Oct. 5 lawsuit.Randy Rosen, son of Rita Rosen, who lived at Montefiore for more than eight years. She contracted COVID-19 on or about Oct. 19, 2020, and died Nov. 1, 2020, of “COVID-19 related complications,” according to the Oct. 8 lawsuit. READ: Marie Wimberly lawsuit
Howard Mishkind of Mishkind Kulwicki Law Co., LPA in Beachwood, filed malpractice, nursing home neglect and wrongful death lawsuits on behalf of children of three deceased residents: Robenalt is seeking judgment for his plaintiff “in excess of $25,000” for compensatory damages, pre- and/or post-judgment interest, attorney’s fees, cost of litigation and other relief.