child on ventilator

The former operators of a New Jersey facility do not have to admit any wrongdoing in settling a wrongful death lawsuit filed in response to a deadly viral outbreak that killed 11 children.  

The settlement was announced Monday by attorney Paul da Costa, who represented the families that sued the Wanaque Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation and also former owners Daniel Bruckstein and Eugene Ehrenfeld. An outbreak of the adenovirus at the facility infected dozens, including one worker, and killed 11 children in September 2019.

The settlement agreement also calls for $6.2 million to be paid to the defendants by the former facility’s insurance carrier. The 92-bed skilled nursing and pediatrics facility was sold in 2019 and renamed the Phoenix Center for Rehabilitation and Pediatrics. 

A request for comment from the facility’s former owners by McKnight’s Long-Term Care News was not returned by production deadline.

In response to the incident, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) signed a 2019 law requiring certain long-term care facilities to develop and submit an outbreak response plan to the state’s Department of Health.