The husband of a woman suffering from early onset dementia filed a lawsuit on January 12, 2017 against the Michigan assisted living facility where she had resided, for her death that resulted from her elopement from the facility and the failure of the assisted living facility staff to check on her. The 85-year-old woman left her room unnoticed and unassisted on October 27, 2016 around 12:30 a.m. She was found faced down just outside of the assisted living facility in an enclosed courtyard, about forty feet from her room, at 5:00 a.m.
The woman’s cause of death was hypothermia. Her body temperature was 71.6 degrees when she was found without a pulse and was blue. It had been in the mid-30s and had rained during the night. The 911 call from the assisted living facility stated that the assisted living staff had not attempted to perform CPR on the woman after she was found outside; the 911 dispatcher instructed the caller to bring the woman inside the facility and to begin CPR pending the arrival of first responders.
According to the husband’s assisted living lawsuit, his wife had a history of attempting to elope from the defendant assisted living facility. Police who arrived at the scene reportedly found the door handle to the exit door was unlocked and loose, although the alarm on the door was in working condition.
The husband’s negligence lawsuit alleges that the assisted living facility owed a duty to the woman to keep her safe and provide for her needs and that it breached the duty by failing to perform routine checks on his wife despite its knowledge that his wife had a tendency to wander. The lawsuit also alleges that the assisted living facility failed to have proper security and alarms to detect when doors to the facility are opened.
The husband alleges that his wife had wandered from their home before she moved into the assisted living facility, that he had informed the assisted living facility regarding the wandering, and that the facility promised him that it was capable and would provide his wife with a safe, secure, and monitored environment.
The husband’s attorneys contend that during the night when the woman eloped from the facility, the facility’s staff who were responsible for her safety admitted that they failed to personally perform visual checks on her and that they had assumed that other staff members were performing the necessary visual checks on the woman. The Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs reportedly investigated the incident and determined that the assisted living facility had failed to follow its own policies.
If you or a loved one suffered injuries (or worse) while residing in an assisted living facility in the United States due to assisted living neglect, assisted living negligence, or assisted living abuse, you should promptly find a local assisted living claim lawyer in your U.S. state who may investigate your assisted living claim for you and file an assisted living claim on your behalf, if appropriate.
Click here to visit our website to be connected with assisted living claim lawyers in your U.S. state who may be able to assist you with your assisted living claim, or call us toll-free in the United States at 800-295-3959.
Turn to us when you don’t know where to turn.