The family of a Bloomington nursing home resident who died of COVID-19 is suing the facility’s owner, claiming gross negligence for failing to prevent a coronavirus outbreak that led to 11 deaths at the long-term care facility. Anita Martin of Bloomington claims Bloomington Rehabilitation and Healthcare Center “consciously disregarded the health and safety of its residents” during the pandemic. Martin’s mother, Marlene Cowans-Hill, died in May amid the first major COVID outbreak at a long-term care facility in McLean County.
Following a two-year investigation during which time multiple Indiana cities and counties and at least 27 states filed lawsuits, Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill announced Nov. 14 his office is leading the state of Indiana into a legal battle over prescription opioids.
Hill said his office was filing a complaint in Marion County Court against a single pharmaceutical company, Purdue Pharma, which is already facing hundreds of complaints and has sought financial restructuring advice.
“I think the timing is wise,” the attorney general said, explaining why Indiana is choosing to file now. There has been an “exhaustive investigation” for the past two years that included taking depositions from former Purdue Pharma employees, interviewing medical professionals, reviewing records and ascertaining the impact on Indiana.
“It’s important to recognize this lawsuit is based on the damages that we have incurred and that we can document,” Hill said. “And that’s taken a great deal of time and effort to be able to come to this particular point.”
Indiana alleges the drugmaker violated Indiana’s Deceptive Consumer Sales Act; the Prescription Drug Discount Benefit Cards Statute; the False Claims Act, and; the Medicaid False Claims Act. The state is seeking the maximum penalties, treble damages, costs and an order directing Purdue Pharma to “stop its unlawful conduct.”