A Group of Minnesotans Are Suing Local Hospitals After Losing Loved Ones to COVID-19

“We have lost so much. Just like everybody else,” said one member doing a group zoom meeting.

Every Tuesday night, dozens of people from across the state come together in a Zoom meeting. “The doctor said you are going to die. There is nothing we can do for you,” said another member.

They gather to tell their stories, and the stories of loved ones, lost, to Covid-19.

“He had to watch his dad die while he was in the hospital,” said a member. “We saw the fear that so many people were living under.”

Andy wears a variety of hats. He’s an EMT. So, during the pandemic, Covid was up close and personal.

“Every day I had to get up and decide am I going to be fearful of Covid and getting really sick? Or am I going to treat my patients with the dignity that they need,” said Andy Barnhart with Medical Justice MN.

But Andy is also an attorney. He says he heard stories from families that didn’t sit right. Stories about the treatment loved ones received in the hospital, and family not being allowed to be there to help them make decisions. It’s why he started Medical Justice Minnesota.

“So they weren’t able to advocate or weigh on the type of treatment they should get. What they feel now is that they didn’t do enough,” said Andy.

“I was isolated. My vitamins were taken away. Even though I seemed to be improving with them,” said a fourth member.

The group believes doctors received bonuses and incentives for giving medications, like remdesivir, to sick family members. They claim their loved ones got worse after receiving the medication.

“They put me on remdesivir and didn’t even tell me about it,” claims one member.

“There was a lot of data by 2020 that suggest Remdesivir was probably more trouble than it was worth.”

“The ripple effect of this on so many people is huge. Huge.”

Medical Justice Minnesota says the main thing they hope to uncover is whether doctors were paid to administer certain drugs to patients. Gilead, the drug company that makes Remdesivir, also known as Veklury, responded with this statement, saying: “Veklury is the antiviral standard of care for the treatment of patients hospitalized due to COVID-19, recommended in guidelines from national and international organizations. Gilead remains committed to the fight against COVID-19 and to patient safety.”

Written by John Lauritsen for CBS News – Minnesota ~ December 27, 2023

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