Lawsuit claims doctor spread COVID-19 at Renton nursing home

RENTON, Wash. — A lawsuit filed on behalf of Renton Nursing and Rehabilitation Center claims a doctor is responsible for the COVID-19 outbreak at the facility. Since March, 52 patients and 47 employees have been sickened. Nine patients have died.

Renton Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, which also goes by the name Renton Healthcare Rehabilitation Center, contracts with Swenson Healthcare to provide doctors for residents. According to the claim, Dr. Nishita Bhumkar, a doctor from Swenson Healthcare, was concerned she could be sick with coronavirus and told her manager. Instead of having her stay home, the lawsuit says CEO Dr. Darren Swenson told her to go work.

“The evidence will show a doctor knew she had COVID and signed a form saying she didn’t have symptoms and didn’t have any concerns,” said Daniel Weiskopf, attorney for the facility. “She knew everyone wanted to know if she thought she had COVID, and she didn’t tell them, and her boss didn’t tell anybody.”

The lawsuit alleges Bhumkar even came to work after she tested postive for COVID-19. Ninety people, some patients and some employees, have tested positive for coronavirus, according to the claim.

Francis Floyd, attorney for the physicians, says the case has no merit. He says all guidelines from the state health department and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention were followed.

He says his clients received a text message on April 3, advising them that all of the patients seen by Bhumkar tested negative.

“The plaintiffs failed to mention this critical text message in their complaint. We intend to aggressively defend this case and pursue collection of actual attorney’s fees when we prevail,” Floyd said.

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