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Three Valley Hospitals Sued Over Allegedly Forced COVID Medications

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A picture of Judith Kneeland, right. A lawsuit alleges that she died because of a COVID drug given against her will. (GV Wire/David Taub)
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In what is being called a first-of-its-kind lawsuit, three hospitals are being sued for allegedly prescribing a COVID medication that was supposed to heal.

Instead, three legal complaints say, the medication killed 14 Fresno-area patients, several over the age of 65.

“We have filed lawsuits against three hospitals who have murdered 14 people using a Remdesivir protocol,” attorney Michael Hamilton said.

The complaints against Community Regional Medical Center, Clovis Community Medical Center, and St. Agnes Medical Center, were filed Sept. 7 in Fresno County Superior Court. There are 19 plaintiffs, relatives of the 14 alleged victims who died in the last year.

The hospitals forced Remdesivir against the patients’ will, the lawsuit alleges.

The announcement was made at an event at Adventure Church on Palm Avenue last week that drew more than 150 people.

“We extend our heartfelt sympathies to the families during this difficult time. Because this case is pending, we are unable to comment,” said Community Health System spokeswoman Michelle Von Tersch said in an email.

St. Agnes also said it was unable to comment on pending litigation.

Attorney: Battle of the Experts

Plaintiff’s attorney Dan Watkins said the families of the deceased found each other.

“As the community discussed it more and learned more about Remdesivir and its problems, the number of people that died from it grew. Just within Fresno, that group grew. They have their own communication net and they talked,” Watkins said.

Watkins acknowledges this will be a tough case to win.

“It’s going to be a battle of the experts. And we’re going to have experts who will come with mounds and mounds of information to show Remdesivir is deadly. It doesn’t do what it’s supposed to do,” Watkins said.

The attorneys said they hope these cases spark similar litigation nationwide.

Lawsuit: Patients Given Remdesivir Against Their Will

The lawsuits allege that Remdesivir, used to treat COVID patients, “is a dangerous, experimental drug” and “unsafe and ineffective for patients.”

“Many of them were given this deadly, poisonous drug against their will. They said, we don’t want it, don’t give us that. They were given (Remdesivir) anyway. They weren’t told that it killed over 50% of the people that it was given to,” attorney Hamilton said.

The hospitals administered Remdesivir without fully informed consent or revealing what the dangers may be, the lawsuit alleges. Other treatments, such as Ivermectin, could have been more effective, the plaintiffs contend.

Watkins said that people have the right to choose their medical care.

“The personal autonomy that’s associated with medical care, people being able to decide what they want and what they don’t want, that’s at issue. And it’s being taken away. And it’s being taken away with just callous disregard for what has always been the case. It’s a fundamental right,” Watkins said.

The lawsuit says the hospitals had a financial incentive for COVID deaths, and to administer Remdesivir. Hospitals can charge up to 144 times more for an inpatient complex case than an outpatient case.

Hamilton said the official cause of death for the 14 plaintiffs was COVID.

“The reason the hospital says their cause of death is COVID is because the state of California gets $147,000 for every COVID death certificate that a hospital can churn out,” Hamilton said.

Attorney Dan Watkins announces a lawsuit against three hospitals for COVID deaths at a Sept. 7 event. (GV Wire/David Taub)

Why One Woman is Suing

“My mother was killed by Remdesivir at Clovis Community Hospital.”Danette Gillingham

Danette Gillingham of Prather, lost her mother Judith Kneeland, 74, on Sept. 16, 2021.

“My mother was killed by Remdesivir at Clovis Community Hospital,” Gillingham told GV Wire.

In July 2021, Gillingham said her family contracted COVID. Concerned about her mother’s dehydration and oxygen level, they took her to the hospital.

Gillingham said the family was not allowed to come inside the hospital with her. Kneeland was given an IV and put on oxygen, her daughter said.

“Without consent, (the hospital) began to put her on all of the other medicines, the Remdesivir and steroids and all kinds of other things,” Gillingham said.

As a result, Gillingham said, her mother’s organs started failing.

Gillingham said the hospital “bullied” Kneeland to be placed on a ventilator or go into comfort care.

She did not believe the hospital when it said her mom died of COVID.

Cases Return to Court in January

The plaintiffs sued the three hospitals in separate lawsuits. The only major difference are the names of the plaintiffs and defendants.

The complaints seeks damages but do not specify a dollar amount.

The three separate cases return to court in January for case management conferences.

The lawsuits against Clovis Community, CRMC, and St. Agnes can be read by clicking on the link.

The lawsuits are being funded by Arizona-based medical advocacy nonprofit Truth for Health Foundation.

 

Curiosity drives David Taub. The award-winning journalist might be shy, but feels mighty with a recorder in his hand. He doesn't see it his job to "hold public officials accountable," but does see it to provide readers (and voters) the information needed to make intelligent choices. Taub has been honored with several writing awards from the California News Publishers Association. He's just happy to have his stories read. Joining GV Wire in 2016, Taub covers politics, government and elections, mainly in the Fresno/Clovis area. He also writes columns about local eateries (Appetite for Fresno), pro wrestling (Off the Bottom Rope), and media (Media Man). Prior to joining the online news source, Taub worked as a radio producer for KMJ and PowerTalk 96.7 in Fresno. He also worked as an assignment editor for KCOY-TV in Santa Maria, California, and KSEE-TV in Fresno. He has also worked behind the scenes for several sports broadcasts, including the NCAA basketball tournament, and the Super Bowl. When not spending time with his family, Taub loves to officially score Fresno Grizzlies games. Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area, Taub is a die-hard Giants and 49ers fan. He graduated from the University of Michigan with dual degrees in communications and political science. Go Blue! You can contact David at 559-492-4037 or at Send an Email

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