Two separate lawsuits were filed at the San Mateo County Superior Court by families of two clients who fell on February 6th, 2017 and October 13th, 2017 in the Foster City Senior Facility arguing that it was not properly staffed. They claim lack of adequate trained staff at the facility led to the death of their relatives namely, Eleanor Abrahams, 96 and Dorothy Fraser, 88.
Kathryn A. Stebner, the attorney who is representing both families in the lawsuit, said, “These cases are indicative of the problems in assisted living facilities in California where there is inadequate staff to meet the needs of the residence.”
She further states that it is unusual for her firm to file two cases against the same institution at once.
“I don’t know that it ever happened,” she stated.
Stebner continues to comment that an administrator at the home told Fraser’s daughters the institution was understaffed.
Stebner said, “Staffing is the most expensive line item in any budget so that where the long-term care facilities make the budget cut and that’s why people die in nursing homes and assisted living facilities.”
In an email, Mike Mejia, Atria Senior Living Vice President for the West Operations, said ensuring the safety and health of the residents is a top priority. Atria Foster has assisted living homes in 27 states around the country and operates 37 senior living homes which serve over 4000 families in California alone. He further insisted on the commitment of the foster home to look into the allegations raised by the two families.
Foster and Abrams were taken into Atria with the knowledge that they had a history of falling and were at a very high risk of falling and would require high monitoring and urgent attention.
The suit filed by Fraser family states that Dorothy fell for the first time in 14th September 2017 after having lunch and the second time while she was having a shower in the bathroom and was left unattended. While Abraham’s family claim that Eleanor fell multiple times and the fourth time which was on January 23rd, 2017 where she was diagnosed with a left femoral neck fracture is when she succumbed to her injuries.
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.