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National Senior Care Chain Charged In 14 COVID Deaths at Beverly Grove Facility

1:49 PM PDT on March 14, 2023

Silverado Beverly Place, via Google Street View

Irvine-based, national chain Silverado Senior Living Management Inc., as well as three of its previous managers, have been charged in connection with fourteen COVID-19-related deaths at a residential care facility in the Beverly Grove neighborhood of Los Angeles, District Attorney George Gascón announced today.

The investigation into Silverado Beverly Place began after the facility reported the April 20, 2020, death of a 32-year-old employee, Brittany Ringo, according to Gascon.

"As required by the protocols at the time, the facility was closed to outside visitors by Silverado in March of 2020," Gascón said at a news conference. "Yet, despite these protocols, an exception was made to admit a patient from New York."

"Ms. Ringo died from COVID-19 after being exposed while working as a licensed vocational nurse for Silverado when she was directed on March 19, 2020, to admit this new resident who came directly to the facility from the airport. This individual had just arrived from a clinical setting in New York, a COVID-19 hot-spot at the time."

The district attorney said the new resident, who started showing COVID-19 symptoms the morning after arriving, and tested positive that evening, had not immediately been tested for COVID-19. Nor had they been required to quarantine in isolation prior to admission, as required by health protocols in place at the time, according to Gascon.

"Those protocols were intended to slow the spread of this dangerous virus, especially while working with vulnerable populations," Gascón said. "We have evidence to support that the protocols were not followed due to financial considerations of accepting this patient from New York."

Ringo tested positive for COVID-19 six days after the new resident's arrival and died less than a month later. 13 of the facility's residents also died, while more than 100 other residents and staff members were diagnosed with COVID-19 as a result of the outbreak, according to the district attorney.

The other people who died in connection were identified as Elizabeth Cohen, Joseph Manduke, Catherine Apothaker, Jake Khorsandi, Albert Sarnoff, Dolores Sarnoff, Myrna Frank, Frank Piumetti, Jay Tedeman, Luba Paz, Kaye Kiddoo, Richard Herman, and Michael Horn.

Loren Bernard Shook, the company's C.E.O.; Jason Michael Russo, an administrator at the time; and Kimberly Cheryl Butrum, a vice president, were charged with 13 felony counts of elder endangerment and five felony counts of elder endangerment, according to the District Attorney's Office.

The national chain, which specializes in caring for elderly residents with Alzheimer's disease and/or dementia, is facing the same charges, Gascón said.

The company has pleaded not guilty, with arraignment set April 4 for the three executives, according to the District Attorney's Office

A representative for the company could not be reached for immediate comment on the case.

Copyright 2023, City News Service, Inc.

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