Defense Prevails in Assisted Living Litigation
Obtained a defense verdict on behalf of an Ohio assisted living facility, its executive director and business office manager, after a week-long trial. The lawsuit was brought by the family of a 74-year-old facility resident and involved claims of inappropriate care and also that the facility staff had stolen the resident's money. The subject resident had been living independently until her primary care physician had concerns relating to her ability to manage her own affairs and initiated an involuntary hospital admission. The physician also contacted Adult Protective Services (APS) relating to potential neglect issues due to about the patient's increasing confusion and paranoia, and because she presented to the office disheveled and unclean, with weight loss and failure to take medications as prescribed. Both agencies were concerned that the patient needed additional care, and the family was reported to be in "denial" as to the extent of the problem. The patient eventually moved to the assisted living facility following an initial tour by her family. At the time of her admission, she was evaluated as independent in all areas, except that she required assistance with finances and was dependent for cooking, housekeeping and medications. She was noted to be alert and oriented x3 and she was able to communicate her needs, but was confused at times and forgetful. Her physician assessed her as dependent for handling money. At the conclusion of a week-long trial, the jury rejected the plaintiffs' claims and returned a verdict in favor of all defendants in less than three hours.