Paul M. da Costa Quoted in Article, “Facing Threat from Feds, N.J. to Surrender Control of Veteran Homes After Residents Found to be at Risk.”

Dec 01, 2022

By Ted Sherman | NJ Advance Media for and Susan K. Livio | NJ Advance Media for

New Jersey wants someone else to take charge of New Jersey’s troubled state-run veteran’s homes.

Gov. Phil Murphy on Wednesday ordered state Department of Military and Veterans Affairs to seek an outside vendor “who can manage systemic changes and provide qualified, administrative staff to help lead these initiatives.”

The move comes after the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services last week cut off federal funding for new admissions at the Veteran’s Memorial Home at Menlo Park, after major shortcomings in care and deficiencies in pandemic infection control led to a declaration that residents at the nursing home in Edison were in “immediate jeopardy.” . .

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In August, Menlo Park employees filed suit against the state, saying the decision to penalize people for wearing masks and failing to prevent the spread of the coronavirus put their lives at risk.

Paul da Costa, who represented many of the families and now the employees, said he was heartened by the actions being taken by the state, “although it certainly was needed long ago.”

He added that the statements in the governor’s press release “contains some disturbing admissions, which my clients and I have been asserting for the last two years: that the administrators tasked with running these veterans’ homes were not qualified, not skilled and clearly incompetent.”

“He also questioned why the department of Military and Veterans Affairs will still oversee the outside contractor, “given its track record.”

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