Delaware County Dementia Victim Alleges Abuse

Delaware County Dementia Victim Alleges Physical and Emotional Abuse, Documented by Hidden Camera at Quadrangle Nursing Home

Link to Complaint

PHILADELPHIA, PA (Oct. 12, 2011) -The intentional, repeated physical abuse of 78-year-old Main Line nursing home resident Lois McCallister by her “care givers” is alleged in a civil complaint filed in Delaware County Court of Common Pleas against the Quadrangle, its corporate parent, Sunrise Senior Living, Inc. and three Quadrangle employees. The complaint, filed on the victim’s behalf by the firm of Saltz, Mongeluzzi & Bendesky, PC, asserts that the Quadrangle employees in March physically abused the defenseless dementia sufferer. Their actions were recorded on a “nanny cam” that family members had placed in her room after officials were dismissive of the family’s suspicions of mistreatment.

According to the complaint, the hidden recording clearly shows the Quadrangle staff members striking and taunting Mrs. McCallister – actions so horrific that they warrant a request for punitive damages in addition to the claims for compensatory damages. Attorneys Robert J. Mongeluzzi, Esq., Carmen Belefonte, Esq. and Andrew R. Duffy, Esq., of SMB, represent Mrs. McCallister and Mary McCallister French, her daughter and legal guardian. Named as defendants are The Quadrangle (3300 Darby Rd., Haverford, PA), its parent companies, Sunrise Senior Living, Inc., SRZ:NYSE (7900 Westpark Dr., McLean, VA) and Sunrise Continuing Care, LLC (7900 Westpark Dr., McLean, VA), and employees Samirah Traynham, Tyrina Griffin and Ayesha Muhammad.

The companies are alleged to have been negligent by failing to properly pursue an investigation of abuse allegations brought by family members. Instead, states Mongeluzzi, they “created and fostered a culture of abuse and intimidation” within their facility. Compounding the tragedy, Mongeluzzi noted the complaint refers to the facility’s failure to notify the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare (DPW) of the alleged abuse. “They had already been severely sanctioned previously by DPW and clearly did not learn from their mistakes,” he added.

Duffy, noting that there is a pending criminal prosecution against the three staff members, explained that Mrs. McCallister’s family is concerned that what happened to Lois could happen to another resident unless the corporate leadership is held legally accountable.

“The corporate leadership must be held accountable because they are responsible for establishing and ensuring a culture that should make its highest priority the health and safety of residents,” said Belefonte. “The Quadrangle was dismissive of the family when it suspected Mrs. McCallister had been abused, and Sunrise demeaned DPW, its state regulator, which revoked the facility’s license. The litigation will get to the truth as to what happened within the corporation and within the Quadrangle.”

Mary French said, “Our mother has never been the same since the abuse. She entered The Quadrangle a happy, hopeful person and now she is totally demoralized. Her tormentors changed her life permanently.” Mrs. McCallister has lived with her daughter since the abuse was discovered in late March.

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