State to Pay $56 Million to Settle Soldiers’ Home Suit
Gov. Charlie Baker has agreed that the state will pay $56 million to the families of veterans who contracted COVID-19 at the Holyoke Soldiers’ Home in the spring of 2020, one of the nation’s worst outbreaks of the virus.
Families of 84 veterans who died from COVID will each receive a minimum of $400,000, with an average payment of $500,000, according to lawyers who brought the federal lawsuit in July 2020. The lawsuit on the veterans’ behalf was filed in July 2020, arguing that the Commonwealth “failed in its promise and obligation to care for those veterans.”
Gov. Baker plans to file legislation seeking $56 million for the claims fund in the coming weeks, according to a statement from his office.
“No amount of money can bring back the veterans who died or erase the pain and suffering that this tragedy needlessly caused those veterans and their families,” said Thomas Lesser, who represented the families, along with partner Michael Aleo, in a statement. “But justice required that those wrongs not go unaddressed. This settlement recognizes that the tragedy was preventable and never should have happened.”