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Former Nelson County resident files lawsuit for forced COVID-19 quarantine

NC GAZETTE / WBRT RADIO
STAFF REPORT

Sunday, March 20, 2022 — The first Nelson County resident allegedly diagnosed with COVID-19 has filed a federal lawsuit against Nelson County officials, state agencies and University Hospital for the court-ordered and officer-enforced COVID-19 quarantine he and his family were subjected to in March 2020.

The $650 million lawsuit claims that Unversity Hospital falsified COVID-19 test results for Michael Hager, a former Nelson County man who had been hospitalized at University Hospital due to his COPD and emphysema.

As a result of the COVID-19 test results, Hager and his family were ordered to quarantine at home. A court order was eventually obtained at the request of the Lincoln Trail District Health Department, forcing Hager and his family to remain at their home. Nelson County deputies were placed at the family’s home for 11 days to enforce the quarantine.

The lawsuit names Nelson County Sheriff Ramon Pineiroa, Judge-Executive Dean Watts, County Attorney Matthew Hite, the Lincoln Trail District Health Department, Gov. Andy Beshear, and University Hospital.

The lawsuit claims that the officer-enforced quarantine cut the Hager’s family off from friends and family.

During his daily COVID-19 briefing, on March 14, 2020, Gov. Andy Beshear mentioned a Nelson County man who was “refusing self-isolation” and that the heatlh department had taken steps to enforce a qurantine.

After the governor’s comments, the family began to be harassed by the public and even received death threats. The family eventually left their home here and moved out of the county.

Michael Hamilton, Hager’s attorney, told WAVE TV that officials were making an example out of the family.

“(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 (with the required qurantines).”

A lawsuit only tells one side of a story.

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