New York

Neglect in New Jersey Nursing Homes Violated Veterans’ Rights, U.S. Says

The care given to military veterans at two state-run nursing homes in New Jersey was so poor that it violated residents’ constitutional rights, according to a U.S. Department of Justice investigation released Thursday.

The veterans’ homes in Edison and Paramus experienced some of the country’s highest coronavirus death rates.

But the scathing report found that the inadequate care has continued even after the pandemic abated. The Justice Department ordered New Jersey’s Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, which runs the facilities, to immediately address the “deficient basic medical care” provided to its frail and vulnerable patients.

“The current risks to residents extend beyond infection control,” the report concluded, noting that the nursing homes had also failed to properly administer medicine, safeguard residents from falling or treat wounds.

Kristen Clarke, an assistant attorney general with the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, said that the investigation, which began in October 2020, showed that deficient care “caused these veterans and their families great harm.”

“We owe the veterans who served our nation our deepest thanks, and those veterans and their family members who live in these facilities have the right to appropriate care,” Ms. Clarke said in a statement.

A spokeswoman for the governor, Philip D. Murphy, said that state officials received the report only on Thursday and had no immediate comment about its findings.

This is a breaking story and will be updated.

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