Colorado family sues assisted living center after 97-year-old freezes to death

Denver, CO – A Colorado family has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against a Louisville assisted living center and some of its employees after one of its residents – Mary Jo Staub – froze to death last February. The lawsuit alleges that staff at the Balfour at Lavender Farms assisted living facility were negligent and failed to protect the 97-year-old woman.

The woman’s tragic final hours was captured on the facility’s surveillance cameras. The heartbreaking footage shows the old lady wandering out of the facility in the middle of the night last winter in below-freezing temperatures, getting locked out, and then banging on the doors for help. Unfortunately, no one heard her. At one point, she injured her ankle and had to “crawl on her hands and knees” towards the doors, leaving a “blood trail in the snow.”

She was found after five hours in the brutal cold, but by then it was too late.

According to the lawsuit, “no one at Lavender Farms was monitoring the security cameras that night… not a single Balfour employee noticed Staub was locked out of the facility… not a single Balfour employee was present to help Mary Jo in any way.

To add insult to injury, Straub’s family was paying $1,500 extra every month for heightened care at Balfour at Lavender Farms.

What to do if you suspect abuse or neglect in a Colorado nursing home

As shocking as the incident is, Louisville police decided not to pursue criminal charges against the facility. The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment inspected the facility and issued eight citations against the facility. Balfour at Lavender Farms made “appropriate changes to address those concerns” and will continue to operate.

There are two important takeaways from this tragic story. You have to look out for your loved ones in a nursing home. No matter how much you pay, you should never rely on a bunch of profit-oriented strangers to take care of your loved ones. Visit often, stay in touch, and watch out for any signs of abuse or neglect.

The second thing to remember is that if you want justice done you’ll have to contact knowledgeable Denver nursing home abuse lawyers.

Can you file a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit if the police do not press criminal charges? You totally can and you should.

The burden of proof in a civil case is much lower than in a criminal one. In a criminal trial, the prosecution would have to prove beyond any reasonable doubt that the nursing home staff is responsible for the resident’s injury or death. In a civil case, though, your lawyers only have to present a “preponderance of evidence” to prove that the staff was negligent. In simple terms, your lawyers will have to convince the jury that the staff’s actions or lack of more likely than not caused the injury.

If you suspect a loved one is being abused or neglected in a Colorado assisted living facility, first remove them from harm’s way. Call the police and then contact an experienced personal injury lawyer at the Bryan & Terrill law firm to see what sort of damages your family is entitled to.

Contact info:

Bryan & Terrill

333 W. Hampden Ave., #420B

Englewood, CO 80110

(720) 923-2333

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