Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascon announced today that it filed criminal charges against Silverado Senior Living Management, Inc., its CEO Loren Shook, officer Kimberly Butrum and former administrator, Jason Russo. Charges include 13 felony counts of elder endangerment and five felony counts of violations causing death.
Silverado Beverly Place is an elite Beverly Hills memory care facility that closed its doors on March 15, 2020, to family, visitors, and non-essential personnel amidst the growing Covid-19 crisis, acknowledging, “we are putting our residents at significant risk by exposing them to what may come through the front door.”
However, when it came to admitting new residents, Silverado chose to open its doors to admit a
wealthy retired doctor whose family arranged to fly with him from New York City to Los Angeles where, on March 19, 2020, he was admitted directly to the care home without testing or quarantine for Covid-19. This was done despite the fact that New York City was dealing with one of the most significant outbreaks of Covid-19 in the country to date.
Upon arrival, Brittany Bruner-Ringo was assigned to the newly-admitted doctor, who was not masked and not kept isolated in his room. At or near the time of his arrival, he showed signs of illness, and he tested positive for Covid-19 the day after his admission. In the days and weeks that followed, Silverado Beverly Place had an outbreak over ninety (90) residents and staff members. At least fourteen (14) people died, including 32-year-old nurse Bruner-Ringo. There were no positive cases in the facility before the doctor from New York was allowed to move in.
Ms. Bruner-Ringo’s family, and other residents and their families who became gravely ill or died from Covid-19 in March and April 2020, have filed a civil lawsuit against Silverado, seeking to hold them accountable for the choices that were made to allow this admission and to not take adequate safety measures, such as testing, quarantine or using masks or other protective equipment. According to the lawsuit, “This decision to admit Patient Zero put at risk each of the existing residents and staff, for no other purpose than to make money.
Jody Moore from Johnson Moore Trial Attorneys represent Ms. Bruner-Ringo’s father and six other residents and their families in these civil lawsuits against Silverado and its management. “These charges give the residents and their families hope that those responsible for the needless illness and deaths of their loved ones will be held accountable”, says attorney Moore. The civil cases have been stalled based upon procedural and jurisdictional challenges filed by Silverado to either remove the cases from State Court and/or to seek immunity protections
To date, Silverado has not taken any responsibility for its dangerous decisions, according to Moore. Nothing will bring back Ms. Bruner-Ringo or the others who became gravely ill or died, but for these families, these charges acknowledge their loved ones have value and that powerful companies cannot make profit-driven decisions that endanger the elderly without consequences. “That is something worth fighting for,” says attorney Moore.