30 families launch class action against Heritage Care over Epping Gardens COVID outbreak

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Just 10 days after we reported on operators being threatened with class actions, one legal action is now underway.

Families of relatives who died at Epping Gardens have launched a class action against the home’s operator, Heritage Care, who own nine homes across Sydney and Melbourne.

A writ has been filed in the Supreme Court of Victoria alleging major breaches including inadequate use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), workers entering the home from other facilities without self-isolating and permitting a staff party during a time when entry was meant to be restricted.

Sebastian Agnello, whose 92-year-old mother died from COVID-19 virus on 28 July, alleges the failure of the facility to isolate and protect her from being infected caused her death.

Mr Agnello will be the lead plaintiff in the case, along with 30 families with relatives who have either died at the home or lived there until recently.

Class actions require seven people to join the claim.

Litigation firm Carbone Lawyers, who will be representing the families, said they had suffered “stress and anxiety as a result of the actions of the management of Epping Gardens. This should not happen again.”

Epping Gardens is currently the largest aged care COVID-19 outbreak in Melbourne with 205 infected residents, staff and close contacts and reportedly over 20 deaths.

Heritage Care is the operator that featured owners that are Lamborghini drivers which may make it a target of media attention and an easy target for class actions.