The families of four former residents of Arbor Terrace at Cascade senior residence facility have filed individual lawsuits in Fulton County State Court against The Arbor Group, and the company that owns and operates the facility, alleging reckless conduct and gross negligence on the part of their administrators and staff in their response to the COVID-19 virus.
The complaints allege that the administrators and staff at Arbor Terrace at Cascade were grossly negligent in failing to protect their vulnerable residents.
“Information that we have received clearly shows that Arbor Terrace at Cascade had ample information to know that they needed to do so much more to protect these most vulnerable citizens,” said Rod Edmond, an attorney with the Edmond, Lindsay & Atkins law firm. “It is simply outrageous that they failed to do what was clearly called for in a timely manner.”
Edmond, Lindsay & Atkins, LLP has taken on the lawsuits of all four families with Edmond and his partners Keith Lindsay and William Atkins as the representing attorneys.
The families claim in their complaints that the owners, administrators and staff at Arbor Terrace at Cascade were aware that the COVID-19 virus had infected some staff at the facility, but despite this knowledge, the administrators and staff were grossly negligent and reckless when the staff was allowed to continue to have unprotected and insufficiently protected contact with the elderly residents, failed to properly quarantine staff workers and residents and failed to properly warn residents in a timely manner about the presence of the COVID-19 virus within the facility.
“These elderly citizens had worked hard all of their lives,” Lindsay said. “Now, while they are in their golden years, they were the most helpless and vulnerable, and they needed the most protection. Arbor Terrace failed them miserably.”
84-year-old Ernestine Mann, a former Atlanta Public Schools (APS) teacher, was the first Arbor Terrace at Cascade resident to die from the COVID-19 virus.
“On March 25, when I saw that mom was acting differently, I asked to take her to the hospital,” said Bill, Mrs. Mann’s son Bill. “Prior to this, none of the staff workers had on masks or gloves. Even the staff worker who helped get my mom into my car to take her to the hospital didn’t have on a protective mask, despite all the talk in the media about the danger of the Coronavirus.”
Another retired APS teacher, 97-year-old Blanche Johnson, developed a fever, chills and confusion on March 26 and was taken to the hospital that evening.
Her husband 88-year-old Eddie Johnson, Jr., a retired corrections analyst with the Department of Corrections, developed a fever, confusion and fell, on March 29.
The couple had been married for 63 years and lived in the facility together for 8months before they fell ill.
“When my father was taken to the hospital on March 29th, the staff member responsible for taking him out the door was only wearing gloves…no mask, no face shield and no other protective equipment. Prior to that date I never saw any protective equipment being used by any of the staff prior to either my mom or dad getting ill at Arbor Terrace and going to the hospital,” said Jennifer McWhorter, the couple’s daughter.
The other two victims were Catherine Hendrix, an 80-year-old retired underwriter for Aetna Insurance Company, who had been with Arbor Terrace for 2 1/2 years, and 92-year-old Dorothy McGirt, a former APS teacher who had been with Arbor Terrace for the past decade.
“None of us children were notified by Arbor Terrace that our mom had been sent to the hospital on March 26th,” said Hendrix’s son Cedric. “When I went to Arbor Terrace on March 27, the day after mom was admitted to the hospital, to pick up some paperwork, the staff worker who gave me that paperwork still didn’t have on any protective gear…no mask and no gloves, although I had on both.”
The COVID-19 virus has completely ravaged Arbor Terrace at Cascade. As of April 16, nearly 80 percent of the 62 residents at Arbor Terrace at Cascade had tested positive for COVID-19, and there have been an astounding 16 deaths.