Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Care facility sued after woman jumps out window

Dementia patient Merle Fall died after jumping out the second-floor window of a Ridgeland nursing home.
The state Department of Health cited the Ridgeland Pointe Senior Living Community following Fall's death in March, requiring the facility to move its Memory Care Unit to the first floor.
But when an investigation by the attorney general's office found no criminal violation under the Vulnerable Adults Act, Fall's family filed a lawsuit against Ridgeland Assisted Living LLC and Emeritus Corp. The complaint, filed in Madison County Circuit Court, accuses the companies of neglect and seeks at least $500,000 in damages, plus attorney fees.
The companies deny the allegations and say the family has failed to prove Fall was "harmed due to defendants' negligent or reckless conduct."
Fall's daughter, Diane Phillips, said she had decided to bring her 83-year-old mother, suffering from advanced dementia, to a nursing home after she wandered away one day. "I always said the first time she left home, we'd have to put her in a safe place," Phillips said. "We didn't want her to get hurt."
She admitted her mother Feb. 25. "It was a lockdown unit where they assured us she would be safe," Phillips said.
Several days later, she and her husband visited. According to the lawsuit, she found her mother smelling like urine and dressed in the same clothes she had been wearing when admitted.
Ridgeland Pointe officials deny this claim, saying such allegations are inconsistent with their investigation as well as the attorney general's investigation.
While there, she said a nurse pointed to a chair and mentioned her mother had tried to go out the window. Phillips said her husband checked the window and noticed it was unlocked - something nursing home personnel promised to fix.
The evening before March 6, Fall had been seen wandering the hall, going in and out of various residents' rooms, Kizzy Blount, a resident on duty, told investigators from the attorney general's office. She said Fall was later seen trying to open the locks on her window about 2 a.m.

Care facility sued after woman jumps out window | clarionledger.com | The Clarion-Ledger

No comments: