Families reach $6.2M settlement over viral outbreak in Wanaque facility

Families alleged the facility failed to stop the spread of adenovirus in pediatric wing; 11 children died

Two years before COVID-19 tore through the state’s nursing homes and killed thousands of elderly residents, the Wanaque rehabilitation and nursing facility was the site of a devastating viral outbreak that left 11 children dead and sickened 25 others. Now, 13 families, including seven who lost a child — have reached a $6.2 million settlement with the facility’s former operators.

The families alleged the facility failed to stop an outbreak of adenovirus from spreading through the pediatric wing where medically fragile children lived. They also alleged that officials delayed hospitalizing children and failed to communicate with families about the severity of the outbreak. The settlement comes with no admission of wrongdoing, according to the attorney for the families. Attorneys for the former owners of the facility did not respond to a request seeking comment. The facility, which was sold in 2019, was renamed the Phoenix Center for Rehabilitation and Pediatrics.

 

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