TRENTON, NJ – The state of New Jersey just settled out of court to resolve a suit filed against them over their handling of the pandemic. The settlement will cost the state $15.9 million.
A total of 71 claimants said that the state’s botched response ultimately led to the deaths of their family members in care facilities. The three facilities were located in Menlo Park, Paramus and Vineland.
While New Jersey has been battling claims of mishandling the pandemic in nursing homes around the state, these three particular locations were state-run veteran’s homes.
SETTLEMENT: The Murphy administration has agreed to pay the families of 71 veterans who died during a COVID-19 outbreak at New Jersey’s state-run veterans homes.https://t.co/82XS8yLVwn
— News12NJ (@News12NJ) August 19, 2022
Those 71 families are now sharing in the settlement, with each receiving just over $223,000 each.
But this second settlement still has not been enough for the state to admit they messed up.
Yes, you read that correctly: second settlement.
In December, 119 residents of the long-term care facilities catering to American military veterans died from COVID-related complications. Their families split $53 million, or $445,000 per family. Between the two settlements, that is almost 200 families impacted and $69 million paid out by the state.
The actual number of deaths from the veteran’s homes was well over 200, according to nj.com, and could be as high as 240. But not all surviving families joined either of the suits.
A member of the governor’s administration said that the settlements were aimed at “balancing the desire to get families some type of compensation, with the obligation of limiting the state’s financial exposure.”
“We didn’t want the families to endure years of uncertainty and years of litigation,” the official said. “We’re hoping the settlement affords those families some level of closure and allows them to move forward.”
But the one thing missing in all of this exchange of money: an apology.
New Jersey continues to say that they didn’t do anything wrong.
But according to a staff member from one of the homes who spoke anonymously to News 12 New Jersey, the state failed to meet basic levels of care.
“They were putting veterans in dirty rooms, that weren’t cleaned,” the staffer said. “They were putting veterans in rooms that one person was positive for COVID, and one person was not.”
But it sounds like an apology is not what the attorney representing many of the families was after.
Paul de Costa was the lawyer for 55 of the 71 families.
“My clients, on balance, think it is a fair and reasonable settlement…On balance, the prospect of many years of litigation, versus giving these families much needed closure, was an easy decision for them,” said da Costa. “The amount of the settlements do represent what is considered to be above average for nursing home deaths and represents still a successful outcome for my clients.”
They aren’t the only state that claims to be innocent in any wrongdoing while forking over millions of dollars in “hush” money to make the issue go away. Massachusetts just ended a federal class action suit in May, settling for $56 million.
That suit was filed after families of 84 veterans who died during the pandemic claimed that employees of the home showed deliberate indifference. The 84 surviving families will receive at least $400,000 each, while veterans who contracted the virus but survived will each receive a minimum of $10,000.
While the lawsuits are no longer hanging around Democrat governor Murphy’s neck, the handling of the pandemic in the veteran’s homes has created a reality where New Jersey is the only state being investigated by the US Department of Justice.
While nursing home deaths in general are the topic, savejersey.com reports that the probe is centered around two of the homes mentioned in the top of this piece.
"Out of all 50 US states, the only one currently under investigation by the US DOJ for pandemic nursing home deaths is NJ. The ongoing probe is focused on 2 veterans nursing homes [both] that are directly overseen & run by the Murphy Admin."https://t.co/kcffWJDGHT
— Jack Ciattarelli (@Jack4NJ) October 22, 2021
Florida HOA shoots down the flying of an American flag, because…well, Canada.
LAKE WALES, FL – There is an abbreviation many are familiar with, SSDD. The cleaner version: Same “stuff,” different day.
Earlier this week, we brought you the story of yet another HOA denying American veterans the ability to display an American flag.
In fact, we have brought numerous stories of homeowner associations that have waged battles with veterans over their flying of American flags at their homes, in “violation” of HOA rules. Many of those stories originated in Florida.
Keep reading for our previous coverage.
Now, an association in Lake Wales has told a group of veterans that they can’t fly a flag, because they’re already enough flying in the community. Apparently, more than a few is too many and they don’t need another one. And one veteran says Canada may have something to do with it.
The Saddlebag Lake resort board of directors responded to a request to add a third and very specific location with a denial, using the two other locations as the reason, all while touting their “support” of the veterans in their community.
“The association is very proud of all the veterans both current and departed,” the statement said, according to NBC affiliate WFLA. “We celebrate their memory and service by dedicating two common areas to fly the American flag proudly.”
But local veterans, as well as other community members are baffled at the association’s decision.
The location in question is situated in front of the horseshoe pits. Here is how this all started.
Bob Douskie, a veteran and resident of the club, dominated those pits for years, even winning some regional championships. When his horseshoe partner and fellow veteran Hank Osborne died, he wanted to fly a flag in memory of his friend.
He began the effort, but sadly passed away about six months later. He had not yet obtained approval for the memorial.
So fellow veteran residents took up that same effort, now on behalf of both Osborne and Douskie.
Gary Shum and Jim Fuday accepted the challenge to continue the fight.
“It was hard for all of us,” Shum said of the continued attempt to erect the memorial. “We wanted to get this done for them and other veterans who live here and have also passed away.”
They finally saw it through to fruition, receiving permission to erect the pole, which they quickly and proudly did.
But after hoisting the stars and stripes, they were told by the association that they would have to take it down.
“I just want to know why, and that was the only thing I asked,” Fuday said, referring to questions he posed during a recent meeting. “They would not answer it.”
The only reason they gave was that a third flag was not needed.
Plus, as the HOA statement alluded, there was already a flag specifically being flown as a memorial. In fact, that particular flag was so dedicated to recognizing the veterans in the community, that they flew it alongside a Canadian flag.
“I don’t think there can be too many flags flying in America,” Shum said.
Other members of the neighborhood have shown up on behalf of the veterans in the community.
They have told the HOA that there should never be limit on the number of American flags flying in common areas around the resort.
The board also stated that when they approved the pole construction, it was done on the premise that the only flag on display there would be the flag of their horseshoe club.
Regardless of the current decision or reasons behind it, Shum and Fuday have said they will continue to press forward, hoping to persuade the board to reverse their decision.
“If we can fly the flag, we will put it back up and leave it up because that’s what we want,” Fuday said.
Fuday seemed to be overcome with emotion when the interviewer mentioned that it was what Douskie and Osborne would have wanted as well.
“Yes, it is,” he said.
As WFLA noted in their coverage, the Freedom to Display the American Flag Act passed in 2005 only stops HOAs from preventing residents from flying the flag on their own property. It does not provide protection of the same in common areas.
But in a follow-up piece, the local station may have found the actual problem facing the group.
Remember that flag flying as a memorial alongside the Canadian flag?
Tom Burkhardt, a decorated Vietnam combat veteran, told the station that the Canadian board members do not comprehend their passion for Old Glory.
“It’s a problem of foreign nationals not understanding the significance the American flag,” he said via video conference. “It’s an issue of not understanding the American flag stands for our values. It’s our symbol. People have died for it.”
He would like to see the Canadian members of the board recuse themselves if this issue comes up for vote again in the future.
Burhardt’s belief, called a false narrative by the HOA, does beg for an answer.
What exactly is a Canadian flag doing flying in a memorial that is supposedly erected to honor American veterans?
HOA tells residents trying to honor fallen veterans that three American flags is “too many”
Lake Whales, FL: Residents of a Tampa Bay area gated community petitioned the Home-Owner’s Association (HOA) to erect an American flag in honor of several veterans from the community who recently passed away, but the HOA Board of Directors denied it.
Veterans and residents of the community Bob Douskie and Hank Osborne frequented the Saddlebag Lake Resort Horseshoe Club pits. They were well known in the community as some of the best horse-shoe players around.
After Hank passed away, a mournful Bob became committed to displaying an American flag to honor his horse-shoe partner and longtime friend.
Unfortunately, however, Bob passed away too before he could get an official approval from the HOA to build and erect the flag.
Other friends of Bob, Gary Shum and Jim Fuday wanted to follow up on his plan and fulfill the goal of building the flag.
In a statement provided by Shum to WFLA, a local news station, he said:
“It was hard for all of us. We wanted to get this done for them and other veterans who live here, and have also passed away.”
The HOA approved the permit to build the pole, which was later completed. However, when a local resident went to fly the flag, a board member told him to take it down.
Fuday, referring to a recent HOA meeting, told WFLA:
“I just want to know why, and that was the only thing I asked. They would not answer it.”
It appears the board members lacked the spine needed to respond to Fuday. In a typical cowardly move, they provided a statement instead, saying:
“The decision not to allow the flag is based in part on the star-spangled banners raised over two other common areas. One of them is flying in a memorial area to the left of a Canadian flag near the entrance of the property.”
The board tried to save face by provided a generic “we support veterans” statement and said:
“The association is very proud of all the veterans both current and departed. We celebrate their memory and service by dedicating two common areas to fly the American flag proudly.”
Talk is cheap and actions speak louder then words. The HOA had the opportunity to prove their support of veterans and the flag but failed.
Their decision to deny the third flag didn’t go unnoticed. The Tampa area news covered it.
The story also enraged other community and local residents alike- who shared their disgust on the Newsbreak.com press release and commented:
Joni Ann Raynor: As a veteran myself over 21 years it tears my heart to see someone disrespect our flag like burning it or stepping on it or not standing for the National Anthem.
But for a board to tell you that you can’t fly the American flag to honor those veterans after they approve to the flagpole is communism they need to get off the board. From Kevin
Cynthia Williams: As the wife of a 27 year veteran I’m appalled. How dare they not let you fly our flag in remembrance. Shame on you
Janet Saiz: Fly the Flag in honor of the men and women who fought for your freedom. There is never enough Flags!
Stephochi: some hoa are ridiculous, a little common sense please. some people like to feel they have power /control over others
Other residents of the gated community came out in force, asking why there should be a limit on the number of American flags flying.
Their fight is not over.
Shum and Fuday intend on continuing this issue to complete their promise they made to honor their veteran friends, Bob Douskie and Hank Osborne.
A choked up and teary eyed Fuday told WFLA:
“If we can fly the flag, we will put it back up and leave it up because that’s what we want.”
The American flag is a symbol that could never be overflown. No limit should ever be placed on the flag and where it could go.
The flag is a constant reminder of how far our country has come and the blood that was shed to get us to where we are today.
It should not only never be limited, placing American flags everywhere you can, should be encouraged to every American.
God Bless the United States of America.
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Here’s another battle with a HOA.
‘It’s worth fighting for’: Veteran loses one house, risks another in HOA fight to display American flag
Posted March 13, 2022
JACKSONVILLE, FL – Larry Murphree is an Air Force veteran who was willing to give up everything to defend the nation he loves so dearly and the flag that represents that nation.
Now in his 70s, Murphree risks losing everything for the right to fly that very flag at his home. Again.
Murphree has been fighting this particular battle for more than 12 years. He spoke with First Coast News, explaining why he is willing to lose so much:
“I love my country. I love the military. It’s a small flag, but it stands for a big ‘thank you.’ “
It all started when the Sweetwater Homeowner’s Association told him to remove a 17″ x 12″ American flag that he had displayed in a flowerpot at his home in the Del Webb senior community.
After he refused to remove it, the HOA began fining him $100 a day. He eventually received a bill for about $8,000 with a notice of intent to file a lien if he didn’t pay.
So, he sued the HOA, starting the battle. He said:
“The first day I walked into my attorney’s office and told him what I was up against, he said, ‘This is David and Goliath. They have bottomless pockets. Are you going to go to the wall for this?’ I said, ‘Absolutely.’ “
And sure enough…to the wall he went.
Even after he settled out of court with the HOA, he said the association was not done with him.
He said it rewrote the by-laws and began to fine him again. Murphree alleged that the association was secretly taking the $100 daily fine out of the HOA dues he was paying and then turned around and put a lien on his home for the unpaid dues.
This assertion seems to be backed up by statements from the HOA’s attorney:
“The Tides is not foreclosing on Mr. Murphree’s property for improperly displaying the American flag. The Tides seeks monies due from any owner whose accounts are delinquent.”
He wound up having to sell his home to cover those fines and the legal fees that kept piling up.
— First Coast News (@FCN2go) July 4, 2018
He packed up and moved 45 miles to a new home in the St. Augustine area. But the war he was waging with his former HOA was far from over and he fears he could lose his new home.
He was recently awarded $1,223 in a so-called win against the HOA, a decision he is appealing. Murphree said:
“We won, but we lost.”
After spending tens of thousands of dollars and being forced to sell his home in the Sweetwater community, the court awarded Murphee a total of $1,223. He said:
“We have been to 200 hearings and where this figure came from, I don’t know…We are going to appeal because we just don’t understand this award, and I am not going to lose a second home over this fight”
He said he spent his retirement funds to fight the legal battle. He believes that he is on the hook for almost $250,000. He is working with the courts to find out exactly how much he owes.
Murphree is concerned that he may have to sell his new home as well to help defray some of the court costs. He vowed:
“I love this home, but we have to do what we have to do.”
The Air Force vet said that this fight and the flag at the center of it go so much further than just the stars and stripes on it.
“It’s worth fighting for. I’d do it again.”
A GoFundMe page has been set up in hopes of offsetting the costs of this fight. To date, Murphree has received $3,358 toward the $200,000 goal. A note on the page explains his situation:
Another crazed person who’s anti-flag- a teacher!
California teacher brags about how she removed American flag, has students pledge allegiance to pride flag
Posted August 30, 2021
The following contains editorial commentary which is the opinion of the author, a retired Chief of Police and current staff writer for Law Enforcement Today.
NEWPORT MESA, CA- Last week in Kabul, Afghanistan, thirteen brave American heroes lost their lives, with eighteen others being injured in a terrorist bombing and subsequent firefight outside the gates of the Kabul airport.
Upon landing at Dover Air Force base in Dover, Delaware, the caskets carrying those thirteen heroes were draped with the American flag, the flag under which they lost their lives as Marines, soldiers, and as a Navy corpsman.
The same week, an ignorant moron who somehow has a job teaching children posted a video on Tik Tok in which she said she encouraged students in her classroom to pledge allegiance to a gay pride flag she put up in her classroom after she removed the American flag, Fox News reported.
The “teacher,” who should have been fired the day after this disgusting video was posted, said in the video:
“Okay, so during third period we have announcements, and they do the pledge of allegiance,” said the teacher, Kristin Pitzen of the Newport Mesa School District in Orange County, California. “I always tell my class, stand if you feel like it, don’t stand if you feel like it, say the words if you want, you don’t have to say the words.”
“So my class decided to stand, but not say the words. Totally fine,” she said.
“Except for the fact that my room does not have a flag,” then explaining she removed the flag during the pandemic, then whispered like a four-year-old child, “because it made me uncomfortable.”
When one of her students asked where they should look during the pledge of allegiance, she pointed to a flag that was in the class.
“In the meantime, I tell this kid, ‘We do have a flag in the class that you can pledge your allegiance to. And he like, looks around and goes, “Oh, that one?”’ and points to the pride flag.”
Pride flag? Are you freaking kidding? Of course clearly, there are a bunch of radical lunatics who probably feel like this nutjob does and think the pride flag should be the national flag. .
However the contrast between what this teacher said, and those flag-draped caskets being offloaded from that military aircraft in Dover is stark…and this shows the abject lunacy of the radical left.
Clearly, if this wackjob teacher wants to pay homage to a rainbow flag that is certainly her right, guaranteed under the Constitution, which by the way, those soldiers and all who’ve paid the ultimate sacrifice before them sought to defend.
However telling her students that they should “pledge allegiance” to the rainbow flag is sick, twisted, evil and deranged.
Fox News said they reached out to the school district, who confirmed the incident is under investigation but wouldn’t provide additional details. Because it doesn’t “discuss employee related matters.”
“We are aware of this incident and are investigating. While we do not discuss employee related matters, we can tell you that showing respect and honor for our nation’s flag is a value that we instill in our students and an expectation of our employees. We take matters like this seriously and will be taking action to address it,” said the district’s public relations officer, Annette Franco to Fox.
As expected, Pitzen’s post got a lot of attention on social media, most of it negative. Former acting director of national intelligence, Richard Grenell eviscerated her:
“What kind of parent would allow their child to be taught by this wacko? Why are parents turning their kids over to someone they don’t know? I’d like to talk to people who think this is good?!?!” he said on Twitter.
What kind of parent would allow their child to be taught by this wacko?
Why are parents turning their kids over to someone they don’t know?
I’d like to talk to people who think this is good?!? https://t.co/VnNxeBWLjA
— Richard Grenell (@RichardGrenell) August 28, 2021
Conservative actress Patricia Heaton wrote:
“I’ve been reading about our fallen heroes all day, and then see this…it made me weep.”
I’ve been reading about our fallen heroes all day, and then to see this…it made me weep. https://t.co/TaARsaWGHm
— Patricia Heaton (@PatriciaHeaton) August 28, 2021
“No one with a functioning intellect
“Should actually want this
“Teaching children anything.”
No one with a functioning intellect
Should actually want this
Teaching any children anything https://t.co/0lGzbSFL8H
— Jim Hanson (@JimHansonDC) August 28, 2021
Others responded on TikTok from parents who were apoplectic that she was disrespecting the flag. One wrote:
“How can the words ‘for liberty and justice for all’ bring such hate in people? How can anyone have [an] issue with those words?”
Others of course praised the leftist loon, according to the Daily Mail.
Someone going ty the Twitter handle @torrHL said:
“This lady is great, I wish she were my son’s teacher.”
Another with Twitter handle @csofie2:
“I do not see this as a real problem…find a way to help the large number of people in this cruel country who are suffering…”
Might we suggest “Sofie” go to Afghanistan and see what real cruelty looks like, especially for women.
Response from “anenglishmajor” on TikTok:
“tbh if you eventually did find the US flag, I would still face the pride one instead.”
Further proof that liberalism is a mental disorder.
Pitzen claimed she “packed it away” in reference to the flag, and added that she didn’t know where, then put her hand over her mouth after saying “And I haven’t found it yet,” pretending to stifle a laugh. Talk about the epitome of maturity right there.
In a previous TikTok, she posted a video celebrating “pride month” on June 1 and showed how she was celebrating by hanging a variety of rainbow flags in her classroom.
“I pledge allegiance to the queers,” she said while wearing rainbow glasses, earrings and suspenders.
She shows off all the pride flags in her classroom and says “I pledge allegiance to the queers” pic.twitter.com/eQXe1OfPoW
— Libs of Tik Tok (@libsoftiktok) August 27, 2021
Might we suggest a healthy dose of psychological therapy for this unhinged nutcase?
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