Third Investigation Launched Into Holyoke Soldiers' Home Deaths

BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — A third investigation has been launched into the deaths of at least 32 veterans at Holyoke Soldiers' Home amid an outbreak of the coronavirus.

In a statement released Friday morning, U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling's Office said the investigation will look into "whether the Soldiers’ Home violated the rights of residents by failing to provide them adequate medical care generally, and during the coronavirus pandemic."

The federal civil investigation is separate from the independent investigation announced on April 1 by Gov. Charlie Baker, and the investigation announced yesterday by Attorney General Maura Healy.

“It would be difficult to overstate our obligation to the health and well-being of elderly and disabled military veterans and, by extension, to their families," said Lelling. "We will aggressively investigate recent events at the Home and, as needed, require the Commonwealth to adopt reforms to ensure patient safety in the future. My condolences to the families of those veterans who died while in the Home’s care; we will get to the bottom of what happened here.”

Lelling's office said the federal investigation will be in co-ordination with the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division. It will be conducted under the Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act (CRIPA,) which gives the Department the authority to investigate violations of the U.S. Constitution and federal law that result from a “pattern or practice of resistance to the full enjoyment of such rights” in state-run institutions, including nursing facilities.

(Photo: Karyn Regal/WBZ NewsRadio)

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