Charges Filed Against Senior Living Facility Managers After COVID Outbreak Resulted in 14 Deaths

Three managers of a senior living facility in Los Angeles County have been charged in relation to a 2020 COVID-19 outbreak that claimed the lives of 13 residents and one employee.

The Los Angeles County District Attorney announced criminal charges against Loren Bernard Shook, Jason Michael Russo, and Kimberly Cheryl Butrum. They were all working for Silverado Senior Living Management, Inc. at the time of the incident.

The trio faces 13 counts of elder endangerment and five counts of violation causing death. The Irvine-based company itself has also been charged with elder endangerment and violation causing death.

According to the investigation, Silverado management was aware of the risks associated with admitting a new resident at the facility who was from a high-risk area. However, they failed to implement the proper procedures to protect residents and employees. This negligence led to unnecessary exposure to serious injury and death for those at the facility.

The outbreak occurred at Beverly Place in Los Angeles’ Fairfax district after the facility admitted a patient from New York City during the pandemic’s early days without testing them for COVID-19 or placing them in quarantine upon testing positive.

The facility also allegedly failed to restrict entry for individuals who had traveled domestically or internationally within the last 14 days to areas with confirmed COVID cases.

Consequently, the outbreak at Beverly Place resulted in the deaths of 14 individuals aged 32 to 94. Additionally, 45 employees and 60 residents contracted the virus and fell ill. Silverado has not yet issued a comment on the matter.

An arraignment is scheduled for the three accused individuals. It remains unclear whether Shook, Russo, or Butrum have obtained legal representation.