Boardman widow files wrongful death suit against Liberty health facility
The widow of a Boardman man who died from the coronavirus is suing the Liberty Township health care facility where her husband worked as a nurse.
Deborah Lanzo has filed a wrongful death lawsuit in Trumbull County against Generations Behavioral Health.
Her husband Raymond, who was employed as a nurse at Colonial Drive facility, died on April 30 at the age of 55.
According to the lawsuit, Lanzo contracted COVID-19 while working at Generations Behavioral Health and “struggled for life and was placed on a ventilator” while family members were not permitted to visit him before he died. Many hospitals banned patient visitation during the coronavirus pandemic.
The suit alleges that Generations Behavioral Health failed to provide safety equipment, or implement adequate policies and procedures resulting in Lanzo contracting coronavirus.
The lawsuit does not specifically list which safety items or precautions were allegedly not made available but claims that Lanzo would not have died if Generations Behavioral Health followed the state of emergency directive issued by Governor Mike DeWine on March 9 in reaction to the spread of COVID-19 in Ohio.
The suit seeks damages more than $25,000 for funeral, burial, and medical expenses, as well as wages lost by Lanzo due to his death.
In addition, the suit seeks damages claiming Lanzo experienced “terror, anguish, suffering, and pain” prior to his death.
Attorneys for Generations Behavioral Health have not yet filed a response to the lawsuit. 21 News has reached out to the company for a statement.
The Lanzo family has experienced other misfortune. In 2017 Lanzo’s 23-year-old Ryan died in a traffic accident.
The driver of the car in which Lanzo was a passenger, 29-year-old Michael Malvasi II of Canfield is scheduled to go on trial in August on charges of aggravated vehicular homicide, failure to stop after an accident, tampering with evidence, and operating a vehicle under the influence.
A motion to suppress evidence in that case is set for Thursday in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court.
Generations Behavioral Health released a statement Thursday.
Our entire team extends our condolences to the Lanzo family. Ray Lanzo was a dedicated and compassionate member of our team, and his passing deeply affected us all. We continue to send our thoughts and prayers to his family during their time of grief.
Generations Behavioral Health is closely reviewing the suit that was recently filed, and we will respond appropriately and in a way that is consistent with Ohio state law.
We remain focused on providing a safe, therapeutic place for our patients to receive essential behavioral health services and to providing a safe work environment for our valued colleagues. Generations Behavioral Health implemented a comprehensive COVID-19 safety plan in March, developed to be consistent with state directives and national guidelines, and designed to ensure we are doing everything we can to limit the disease in our facility. This ongoing effort relies on all of us working together to overcome the challenge of meeting patients’ needs during the COVID-19 pandemic.