A senior living center in Santa Rosa is facing charges filed against it after the residents in the center opted to go to court claiming that they were abandoned amidst the outbreak of last month’s wildfire.
Four residents who appeared in Sonoma County Superior Court on Monday claimed that the staff in the assisted living center left them alongside others who were in wheelchairs, suffering from dementia, and others who were not in a position to cognitively or physically get out of the building.
The plaintiff’s lawyer, Kathryn Stebner, argued that the defendants – Oakmont Management Group and Oakmont Senior Living – provided absolutely no information to the residents concerning the imminent danger. Therefore, seniors were left stranded. They had nothing to help them communicate or someone to help them get out of the residence.
The plaintiffs argued that the caregivers who were at the residence had no evacuation plan; as a result, they waited for an executive director to come to their rescue. The director did not show up.
The residents were rescued by two female visitors who ran to the residence to evacuate everyone in the center. Stebner indicated that the two visitors were, in fact, relatives of some of the residents. She also indicated that the residents who were between the ages 82 and 92, wouldn’t have made it out of the building had it not been for the two rescuers. The Plaintiffs, Alice Eurotas, Helen Allen, and Elizabeth Budow praised the two females for their efforts to save their lives.
All the members of the senior living center were evacuated. This incident raised a lot of concerns about the readiness of various institutions to handle disasters. It was a shock that Oakmont lacked an evacuation plan.
The lawsuit went ahead to detail how Oakmont gave a false statement to the press that seniors living in Villa Capri had been safely evacuated. The plaintiffs further allege negligence on the part of the management of the center and demand unspecified compensation for false imprisonment and emotional distress.
The plaintiffs were quick to justify their move to court. They said this move was to ensure that Oakmont and other senior living centers create an evacuation plan as well as train their staff to handle such emergencies.