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.
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.
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.
You can read the contents of the lawsuit below: