San Antonio nursing home at center of outbreak sued over patient’s COVID-19-related death

Jose Velasquez was patient at Southeast Nursing and Rehabilitation Center

SAFD Chief Charles Hood said 12 people have tested positive for COVID-19 at the Southeast Nursing & Rehabilitation Center at 4302 Southcross, including six staff members and six residents. At least one male resident has died as a result. (KSAT)

SAN ANTONIO – Two family members have sued a San Antonio nursing home for what they say was the COVID-19-related death of their father.

Jose Velasquez, 79, was a patient at Southeast Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, where he died in April.

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At least 75 residents and 29 workers have tested positive for the coronavirus at the home, including 18 who died, leading some city officials to call it “ground zero” for the appearance of the disease in San Antonio.

The lawsuit was filed in state District Court in San Antonio by Annie Marie Gibbs and Joe Edward Velasquez. The lawsuit says the cause of death was COVID-related, but that until an hour before his death, they were told by nursing home employees that their father had no symptoms of the disease.

Loved ones mourn Southeast Nursing and Rehabilitation Center employee who died from COVID-19 complications

The lawsuit also accuses the facility at 4302 E. Southcross Blvd. of negligence and gross negligence for failing to use safety measures to minimize the chance of contagion within its walls. It seeks unstated financial damages.

Federal records show Southeast Nursing and Rehabilitation Center had a history of deficient health inspections before the onset of the pandemic that had placed the home on an inspection “watchlist.” The official U.S. government website for Medicare listed the “overall rating" for the Southeast Nursing & Rehabilitation Center at “much below average,” with only one out of five stars. The rating is based on “health inspections, staffing and quality measures” observed during its last three inspections.

KSAT has reached out to the company that operates the facility for a response and will update this article with that information.

Sources confirm COVID-19 outbreak at second Southeast Side nursing home

You can read the contents of the lawsuit below:

About the Authors

David Raziq is the executive producer for the Defenders investigative team.

Emmy-award winning reporter Dillon Collier joined KSAT Investigates in September 2016. Dillon's investigative stories air weeknights on the Nightbeat and on the Six O'Clock News. Dillon is a two-time Houston Press Club Journalist of the Year and a Texas Associated Press Broadcasters Reporter of the Year.

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