GLENDALE, Calif. (KABC) -- A family is blaming their loved one's death from coronavirus on his Glendale nursing home. On Thursday, they filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the facility.
The suit alleges inadequate safety conditions during the coronavirus pandemic.
When the coronavirus outbreak first started racking up U.S. victims, nursing homes were some of the hardest hit spots.
Glenhaven Healthcare in Glendale is where Ricardo Saldana was living and where his family says the 77-year-old man contracted COVID-19.
"They put a patient with Covid in my dad's room. They killed my dad," said Jackie Saldana.
Jackie says her father suffered a stroke six years ago but had been relatively healthy up until the COVID-19 outbreak. And he would have stayed healthy, the family says, if Glenhaven had taken the outbreak seriously.
Instead, the family says a nurse who had been exposed to COVID-19 at another facility was allowed to work at Glenhaven.
"They hid the information. They did not share it with any staff or any of the residents. They advised the staff that they were not allowed to wear masks or personal protective equipment ,"said Scott Glovsky, the family's attorney.
The Saldana family is now suing Glenhaven for elder abuse, willful misconduct, negligence and wrongful death.
Glovsky says Ricardo is just one of at least 10 Glenhaven residents who have died from COVID-19 related causes. But the Los Angeles County Public Health Department reports five such deaths there.
Glenhaven's initial approach to the pandemic, the family says, was negligent.
"They held a staff meeting, in which they told the staff that the coronavirus was not a big deal, that it was like the flu, and that nobody was going to get sick," Glovsky said.
Eyewitness News reached out to Glenhaven for comment but nursing home management wouldn't even confirm that Ricardo was a resident there. An administrator did say the facility follows government healthcare regulations.
Carrie Marks, an administrator with Glenhaven Healthcare said, "...Glenhaven Healthcare heroes put our patients first every day. Our nurses are trained on and follow applicable guidelines from the Department of Public Health and the CDC. We are extremely proud of our ongoing service to our patients and the community."
Jackie sees her father's lonely death as proof that Glenhaven didn't care for the people they were supposed to protect.
"His death has hit me like 100 knives going in my heart. My family is devastated," Jackie said.