Family of deceased nursing home resident files wrongful death lawsuit

An Indiana nursing home is currently under fire for a potential wrongful death case.

Betty Riley, a former nursing home resident at Summit City Nursing & Rehabilitation in Fort Wayne, Indiana, died from injuries reportedly resulting from a fall during a scuffle with another resident. Riley’s family has filed a lawsuit against the companies that own and operate the facility for alleged negligence in Riley’s death.

The Allen County Coroner’s Office reported that Riley died from “failure to thrive due to subdural and sub-arachnoid hematomas, due to blunt force trauma” as a result of an altercation with another individual at the nursing home. In response to the allegations, the Indiana State Department of Health began its own independent investigation to determine what actually occurred. According to its findings, “the facility failed to comprehensively assess a resident’s behaviors [which]…affected 1 of 3 residents.”

According to Riley’s family, she suffered from dementia and lived in the Alzheimer’s wing of the Summit City Facility.

In response to the suit, Indiana law would limit the family’s damages at $300,000, a portion of which would be supplied by the Indiana Patient Compensation Fund. The remaining amount would be paid by Health & Hospital Corporation (HHC) of Marion County and American Senior Communities, LLC (ASC), the owners and operators of the facility.

“If they would have offered to pay the bills like [my lawyer] said, she had about $300,000 in hospital bills; if they would have shown some kind of consideration towards what happened to my mother, that would have made everything a lot better,” said Riley’s son Mark, referring to the way the facility staff handled the events surrounding the death and the monetary expense incurred as a result.

“No sympathy whatsoever towards the family or anything. That’s what really grabbed us as being pretty difficult to handle. They didn’t want to act like they did anything, but yet, they didn’t want to say sorry or anything,” Mark continued.

In response to the lawsuit alleging negligence against both the owners and the operators, Health and Hospital Corporation and American Senior Communities provided the following statement to a local news station:

“Health and Hospital Corporation and American Senior Communities Inc. are unbendingly committed to quality care for each of our residents in our long-term care centers.  We have been advised that legal action may be undertaken related to the death of one of our patients in an Alzheimer’s unit more than one year ago.  As we did at the time of this incident, we offer our continued sympathies to this family, and we share with them their sense of loss.

This incident was thoroughly investigated by local and state officials, and we cooperated fully in that investigation.

Due to the nature of these allegations, we are unable to comment further.”

If you suspect that your loved ones death was caused by a caretaker or physician’s negligence and would like to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit, the attorneys at the Killino Firm are waiting to hear from you. Contact them today for a free case evaluation.