The family of a resident at a Wisconsin assisted living facility has filed a lawsuit against the facility and it parent company, Assisted Living Concepts LTD, in relation to the events leading up to her death in 2010. In particular, the lawsuit claims that Marilyn Brown was admitted to Cedar Gardens in July, 2008 for assistance with her dementia and repeated urinary tract infections.
Over the course of her stay at the assisted living facility, the staff gradually provided less and less assistance for Ms. Brown’s daily living needs. In addition to lack of daily care, the lawsuit further claims that the staff at the facility failed to properly supervise Ms. Brown which resulted in multiple falls. It was a fall in December, 2009 that resulted in fractures to her hip and shoulder that lead to Ms. Brown’s death shortly thereafter.
Despite Assisted Living Concepts ongoing profitability as a chain of assisted living operators (having more than 34% increases in quarterly profits compared with last year), the lawsuit alleges that the company fails to pass along adequate funds for the facility to hire and train sufficient staff to ensure the safety of its residents.
As a lawyer who commonly represents the elderly in lawsuits against assisted living facilities and nursing homes, I frequently attribute the poor care to the facilities parent company that frequently makes a conscious decision to cutting staffing levels to a bare-boned levels. I frequently see facilities hiring the least qualified staff and continually paying them far lower wages than they would make in other settings.