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Families of Deceased COVID-19 Victims from Arbor Terrace at Cascade Senior Care Facility File Suit Alleging Gross Negligence

Four families of 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/companies that own(s) and operate(s) 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.

The families of Mrs. Ernestine Mann, Mr. Eddie Johnson, Jr. and Mrs. Blanche Johnson (husband and wife), Ms. Catherine Hendrix and Ms. Dorothy McGirt are all devastated by the sudden and tragic deaths of their elderly loved ones. They 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 were 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.

The COVID-19 virus has completely ravaged Arbor Terrace at Cascade. As of April 16th, nearly 80% of the 62 residents at Arbor Terrace at Cascade had tested positive for COVID-19, and there have been an astounding 16 deaths.

84-year-old Ernestine Mann was the first Arbor Terrace at Cascade resident to die from the COVID-19 virus. Mrs. Mann was a pillar in the Atlanta community. She retired from more than 30 years of teaching in Atlanta Public Schools (APS). She was an active member of Hoosier United Methodist Church and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority. According to Mrs. Mann’s son Bill, “On March 25th, when I saw that mom was acting differently, I asked to take her to the hospital. 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.”

Mr. Eddie Johnson, Jr. was 88 years old, and his wife of 63 years, Blanche Johnson, was 97 years old. They had lived together in Arbor Terrace for 8 months before catching the virus. Mr. Johnson was a retired Corrections Analyst with the Department of Corrections and Mrs. Johnson was a retired APS teacher. She taught 2nd grade students in APS for 38 years. On March 26th, Ms. Johnson developed a fever, chills and confusion. She was taken to the hospital that evening. On March 29th, Mr. Johnson developed a fever, confusion and fell. “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,” says Ms. Jennifer McWhorter, the couple’s daughter.

Catherine Hendrix was an 80-year-old retired underwriter for Aetna Insurance Company. She had been Arbor Terrace for 2 1/2 years. Her son, Cedric Hendrix said, “None of us children were notified by Arbor Terrace that our mom had been sent to the hospital on March 26th. When I went to Arbor Terrace on March 27th, the day after mom was admitted to the hospital, to pick up some paperwork, the staff worker who gave me that paper work still didn’t have on any protective gear…no mask and no gloves, although I had on both!” Ms. Hendrix died April 6th.

Ms. Dorothy McGirt was 92 years old and a resident at Arbor Terrace at Cascade for the past decade. She was a lifelong educator, having taught Social Studies in APS high schools. On March 28th, Ms. McGirt developed a low-grade fever. She was sent to the hospital on March 30th. “I spoke with the staff at Arbor Terrace on March 18th. At that time, they weren’t allowing visitors into the facility due to the virus, and they told me that she was having a bad day,” according to Ms. Lana Perry, Ms. McGirt’s niece. “They said that she was acting out in the social activities room around other residents. So clearly, there was no real social distancing going on there at that time,” Ms. Perry added.

Rod Edmond, M.D., J.D. is both an attorney and a medical doctor. Dr. Edmond, Attorney Keith Lindsay, Attorney William Atkins and their law firm Edmond, Lindsay & Atkins, LLP represent these families in these lawsuits. Dr. Edmond said, “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. It is simply outrageous that they failed to do what was clearly called for in a timely manner.” Attorney Keith Lindsay added, “These elderly citizens had worked hard all of their lives. 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.”

Edmond Lindsey & Atkins, LLP – 2020 Super Lawyers
The attorneys of Edmond Lindsay & Adkins, LLP, Roderick E. Edmond, MD, JD; Keith L Lindsay, JD, and William J. Adkins, JD, obtain accountability for victims of catastrophic personal injuries, wrongful death, commercial malfeasance, and civil rights violations. The firm’s attorneys specialize in medical malpractice, nursing home negligence, commercial motor vehicle, and automobile collision cases, police misconduct, and premises liability litigation. The founding partner, Dr. Edmond is not only an attorney but a medical doctor. The attorneys at this firm possess over 60 combined years of litigation experience and they bring this experience, with zeal to every case with which they work. Their well-honed trial skills and commitment to achieving justice have resulted in numerous multi-million-dollar verdicts and settlements on behalf of well-deserving clients. The firm congratulates two of its attorneys, Rod Edmond and Keith Lindsay, to the acclaimed “2020 Georgia Super Lawyer” list.

Last updated on April 24, 2020

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