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Son who lost 92-year-old mother becomes first to take legal action against Epping Gardens aged-care facility

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A man who lost his 92-year-old mother due to an outbreak at a Melbourne aged-care facility has been the first to take legal action with a top-tier personal injury law firm.

Sebastian Agnello will be the lead plaintiff in a class action being brought by Carbone Lawyers, which is representing about 30 families with relatives who have either died at the home or who were living there until recently.

Sebastian’s mother, Carmela Agnello, moved to Epping Gardens in September 2018. During her residence, she was exposed to a COVID-19 positive staff member. Carmela tragically lost her life on July 28 after suffering severe Covid symptoms.

Read More: Nursing home CEO expects ‘Golden Age’ to be over for Epping Gardens co-owners

The Epping Gardens aged-care facility has so far been responsible for 205 infections and multiple deaths.

Jack Karantzis, head of personal injury law and litigation for Carbone Lawyers, said: “We fight for the rights of the vulnerable who have been affected by mismanagement, greed and incompetence. Such conduct is abhorrent and unacceptable in a civilised society.”

Mr Agnello claimed in his writ that Epping Gardens had allowed staff and residents to not wear personal protective equipment even though aware there was a pandemic.

Heritage Care owners Tony Antonopoulos and Peter Arvanitis. Photo: Instagram

The aged care home had also allowed workers and residents to “move freely within Epping Gardens when there was a risk of spreading contamination and contracting a COVID-19 infection”.

John Karantzis said the families his company represented had suffered “stress and anxiety as a result of the actions of the management of Epping Gardens. This should not happen again,” Sydney Morning Herald reports.

Epping Gardens’ parent company, Heritage Care Pty Ltd, which has nine for-profit aged-care homes across Sydney and Melbourne, is directed and owned by multi-millionaire aged-care moguls Tony Antonopoulos and Peter Arvanitis.

Heritage Care chief executive Greg Reeve previously insisted that Epping Gardens had been “absolutely, categorically prepared” for the pandemic, with enough training and equipment.

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