SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) – The state’s attorney general is looking to reverse a ruling involving two supervisors who allegedly mishandled a Covid-19 outbreak at a veteran’s nursing home in western Massachusetts.
On Tuesday, Attorney General Maura Healey filed a notice of appeal seeking a reversal of a recent dismissal of indictments against Former Superintendent Bennett Walsh and Former Medical Director David Clinton.
In September 2020, Walsh and Clinton were indicted by a grand jury on multiple charges in connection to their alleged roles in a deadly Covid-19 outbreak at the Soldiers’ Home in Holyoke (SHH). This past November, a Hampden Superior Court Judge allowed both defendants’ motions to be dismissed. If Healey’s notice follows through, the case will be transferred to the Appeals Court, where a formal appeal will be entered.
“The tragic loss of life at the Holyoke Soldiers’ Home broke the promise that our Commonwealth would honor these men who bravely served our country,” said Healey. “We are filing this notice of appeal today to pursue accountability on behalf of their loved ones and communities.”
Healey’s office began investigating SHH in early April of 2020 after learning about serious issues with Covid-19 infections and control procedures. According to the AG’s office, nine residents of the home, some asymptomatic and some showing symptoms, were placed in beds in the facility’s dining room only a few feet apart. The rest of the residents in the unit were allegedly mingling together, regardless if they were infected.
The AG’s Office alleged that this decision, which Walsh and Clinton authorized, was reckless and make it more likely that the asymptomatic veterans at SHH would contract Covid-19. This also put them at a higher risk of harm, including death.