Last July a resident of a Florida assisted living facility fell off her electric scooter in the community courtyard. She was trapped for six hours before she was found by another resident’s family. Her adult children are now suing Harbor Place at Port St. Lucie for wrongful death, claiming that the fall and sun burns caused their mother’s death at 97.
Kathleen “Kay” Menard was at risk of falling, and had done so 14 separate times during her nine years at the community. “She always had a fall risk, and that is why we had her in assisted living,” explained Maria Gryner, Menard’s daughter, to the Palm Beach Post.
Menard passed away September 29. According to her death certificate, the causes of death included the fall from the scooter, heat stroke, extreme burns on her feet and nutritional deficiency.
The family’s attorney saw the case as one of “outrageous neglect.” He said Menard “essentially burned to death due to a facility not keeping any tabs on her and allowing her to bake outside in the summer heat for many, many hours.”
Erika Stewart, Harbor Place’s executive director, stated, “At Harbor Place at Port St. Lucie, providing compassionate care to our residents while ensuring they receive the utmost respect, dignity and independence is our highest priority. We take any allegation to the contrary seriously.”
After the fall, Menard was transported to a local hospital with a temperature of 105.7 degrees. Her burns and heat stroke eventually developed into sepsis. Menard then went back to Harbor Place for a short period of time before she registered at a skilled nursing facility.