8 Wrongful Death Lawsuits are filed against a Kansas care facility where 36 people have died of Coronavirus

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — At least eight wrongful death lawsuits have been filed against a nursing home in Kansas City, Kansas, where 36 people have died from the new coronavirus.

The lawsuits allege the Riverbend Post-Acute Rehabilitation was negligent in its handling of the coronavirus outbreak and did not provide adequate staff or notify families of the outbreak, KCUR reported.

Health officials say another 136 patients and staff at the home have tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.

Attorneys representing the nursing home on Tuesday transferred all eight cases from Wyandotte County District Court to federal court in Kansas City, Kansas. The attorneys invoked a federal law that provides immunity from liability for health care providers during public health emergencies.

Rachel Stahle, an attorney representing four of the eight families, said she will seek to have the cases sent back to state court.

Riverbend posted a statement on its website last month defending its care, saying staff took reasonable actions with the resources and information that were available at the time. Riverbend officials have declined to discuss the lawsuits.


State labor department officials say Kansans who applied to the new Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program should begin receiving their money this week.

The Kansas Department of Labor said the agency began processing the payments Tuesday night and the money was sent to banks Wednesday but it can take two days for direct deposits to appear in accounts.

People who chose to receive payment by debit card may not see those for seven to 10 days.

The agency is still reviewing less than 24,000 applications for the PUA program to determine if the applicants are eligible.