Nelson Co. family files $650M lawsuit for ‘forced quarantine’ after alleged fake COVID result
ELIZABETHTOWN, Ky. (WAVE) - A Nelson County family filed a federal lawsuit against the state and local governments, among others for $650 million after they claim a hospital falsified COVID-19 test results and forced them to quarantine by placing armed deputies around their home in March 2020.
According to the lawsuit, Michael Hager is a first responder who has COPD and emphysema. On March 10, 2020, Hager had to be hospitalized after his oxygen levels dropped.
Two days later, as Hager was being discharged, the lawsuit said his doctors told him he tested positive for COVID-19.
However, Hager claimed he was never tested for the virus during his stay at UofL Hospital.
According to the Hagers’ attorney, Michael Hamilton, Hager’s wife asked to speak to the doctor who diagnosed him with COVID-19. The hospital staff said an administrator diagnosed Hager, and they weren’t available to speak.
Because of this, Hager’s wife checked him out of the hospital, the lawsuit says.
A day later, the couple received a phone call around midnight from a person who claimed to be with the Lincoln Trail District Health Department and was asking for their personal information, according to the lawsuit.
The Hagers refused to speak with the person because they did not believe the call was legitimate, Hamilton said.
The following day, a woman in “personal protective equipment, including a mask” pulled up to the Hagers’ home in an unmarked vehicle and told the family she was there to make sure everyone stayed inside the house, the lawsuit reads.
The woman refused to present any identification, according to the lawsuit, so the family did not invite her inside.
A few hours later, the woman returned in a marked vehicle reading “Lincoln Trail Health Department,” with the Nelson County Sheriff, Ramon Pineiroa, and a deputy, Hamilton said.
Pineiroa presented the family with an Ex Parte Order for Protective Services, granting the health department “immediate emergency guardianship” of Hager, according to the lawsuit, claiming the man was “in a state of abuse and neglect.”
The family of six was ordered to stay inside, and armed Nelson County deputies were placed outside the Hager’s home for 11 days, Hamilton said.
“These folks had to stay in their house,” Hamilton said. “Nobody was allowed to come around; they weren’t allowed to see people from their church who wanted to bring them food for a time.”
The family claims during that time, Hager’s father who was critically ill and their special needs child were deprived of medication and medical supplies. In addition, the Hager’s said they were stripped of support from their friends and family, and were “harassed every 12 hours to provide information about their health,” according to the lawsuit.
“I don’t think I’ve ever heard of a grosser abuse of the Constitution,” Hamilton said. “I’ve heard about it in Soviet Russia, I’ve heard about it in Nazi Germany, I’ve heard about it in communist China, I’ve heard about it in Cuba, but not in America.”
On March 14, 2020 during a COVID-19 press briefing, Gov. Andy Beshear told reporters a Nelson County man was “refusing self-isolation,” and the the health department and state have “taken the steps to force a self-isolation.”
After this, Hamilton told WAVE News the family was harassed by the public and received death threats; the Hagers had to sell their home and move out of Nelson County for their own safety.
“An example was clearly being made of them, but there was no example to be made,” Hamilton said. “(Hager) wasn’t sick (and) he didn’t get tested. It seems they arbitrability picked him and his family to make this huge public example so that everyone would be afraid not to comply.”
Hager and his family are suing the Nelson County Sheriff, the county judge executive and attorney, the Lincoln Trail District Health Department, Gov. Andy Beshear, and UofL Hospital for $650 million to cover both damages and “punish the wrongdoers,” Hamilton said.
“Every government, every hospital, every entity throughout the United States needs to know that this historic violation of Constitutional rights must be met with a historic punishment so that nobody is tempted to do it again,” Hamilton said.
WAVE News reached out to the Governor’s office and others listed on the lawsuit for comment, but the suit has not been officially served.
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