A co-owner of the New Jersey nursing home where at least 15 bodies were crammed into a morgue designed for much fewer once owned a similar facility that had a lengthy list of health and safety complaints, including allegations of neglect, NBC News reports.
As previously reported by The Inquisitr, this week police were called to the Andover Subacute and Rehab Center II following a report of a dead body in a shed. While authorities did not find that specific body, employees reportedly asked officers for help with the bodies in the facility’s morgue. Inside, they found at least 15 of them — earlier reports had said the number of bodies inside the unit was 17 — crammed into a facility designed for only four.
“It is by far one of the most bodies at one time that I’ve experienced in terms of a nursing home,” said a local police official at the time.
It remains unclear as of this writing if any of the deceased were victims of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.
As it turns out, a 50 percent co-owner of the facility, Louis Schwartz, had previously been the vice president of Skyline Healthcare. Now shuttered permanently, Skyline had been plagued by a laundry list of health and safety complaints, including allegations of neglect from its residents.
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Some of the more extreme examples of complaints against Skyline facilities include accusations that residents were not bathed, and that maggots were crawling in a resident’s medical equipment. One man was reportedly found lying in his own feces, his leg gangrenous and covered with maggots. The man’s leg was later amputated, but he still died.
After the chain closed in 2018, displacing thousands of people in several states, workers accused its managers of pocketing their insurance premiums.
The Andover facility has had its share of allegations of neglect. One woman alleges that her elderly mother wandered outside in sub-zero weather, and suffered frostbite as a result. A paramedic says he was frequently called to the facility, and that residents were often in old and malfunctioning beds. He claimed that staff members would oftentimes not know anything about patients.
“It just seemed like every time we went there, things were in disarray.”
New Jersey Health Commissioner Judy Persichilli said during a news conference Thursday that she was aware of complaints of bodies being improperly stored at the facility.
“We’re not pleased with what is going on at the Andover facility,” she said.
The Andover facility’s co-owner, Chaim Scheinbaum, says that Schwartz was a “silent partner” in the branch.