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State announces settlement in Holyoke Soldiers’ Home class action lawsuit

Outside of the Soldiers' Home in Holyoke, MA
Outside of the Soldiers' Home in Holyoke, MA(Western Mass News)
Published: May. 12, 2022 at 11:19 AM EDT
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HOLYOKE, MA (WGGB/WSHM) - State officials have announced a multi-million dollar settlement in a class action lawsuit following the COVID-19 outbreak at the Holyoke Soldiers’ Home.

The Baker-Polito Administration said Thursday that the $56 million settlement will cover veterans who lived at the Holyoke facility any time between March 1, 2020 and June 23, 2020 and who became ill or died from COVID-19 during that period.

Gov. Charlie Baker said in a statement:

“The COVID-19 outbreak at the Holyoke Soldiers’ Home was a terrible tragedy. While we know nothing can bring back those who were lost, we hope that this settlement brings a sense of closure to the loved ones of the veterans.”

Estates of the deceased veterans would receive a minimum settlement of $400,000 and veterans who contracted COVID-19, but survived, would receive a minimum settlement of $10,000. The fund will also provide for payment of court-approved attorney’s fees.

Former U.S. Attorney Donald Stern will serve as administrator for the settlement claims and will make awards to participating claimants based on a review of individual circumstances.

Attorney Tom Lesser, who represented the plaintiffs in the case, said in a statement:

“There is no amount of money that can compensate our clients for the loss of their loved ones.  But our clients are grateful that the Commonwealth has acted to resolve this matter without the need for protracted litigation by agreeing to compensate both the families of those who died of COVID, as well as the veterans who survived.  The settlement is fair and just.”

Baker is expected to file legislation for $56 million for the claims fund in the coming weeks.

The settlement is subject to approval by a federal judge.

Western Mass News will continue to follow this story and will have more information as it becomes available.