Paul M. da Costa Quoted in Article, “‘Somebody should care about these patients…’ It was called one of the worst nursing homes in N.J.. Why did it take so long to shut it down?”

Dec 20, 2022

As published in
December 18, 2022
By: Susan K. Livio | NJ Advance Media for and Ted Sherman | NJ Advance Media for

The aftermath

Today, Woodland is no more. The last resident left in August.

By the time it closed, 109 of its residents and one staff member would be dead from the pandemic, according to the state, more than any other nursing home in New Jersey.

With its closure, Woodland was slapped with a massive $948,670 civil penalty by CMS in August. In the wake of the shutdown, advocates have visited more than half of the more than 300 people removed from Woodland.

“It’s premature to say it’s been successful,” said Orlowski, the Disability Rights New Jersey executive director. “We’ve come across some people who were really happy with their new situation. There are other individuals we have spoken to and who say this was not the right nursing home for them.”

Some hope that the lessons of Woodland will prompt the state to be more aggressive.

“This facility certainly was the epitome of a bad actor that needlessly endangered its residents, said attorney Paul da Costa of Roseland — who represented families in lawsuits charging New Jersey with gross negligence and incompetence over its handling of the COVID outbreak in the state’s veterans’ homes. “Hopefully, the state will learn that regulation and close oversight needs to be strengthened. The bad actors cannot simply operate without any fear that their bad acts will go unpunished,” he said.

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