Elder Abuse Caught On Tape Triggers Lawsuit In Delco

A Delaware County woman who used a nanny cam to secretly tape workers allegedly abusing her mother at a senior living facility sued the employees and the facility for negligence Wednesday.

“I just want them to take responsibility for what they did,” Mary French said at a news conference at her Havertown home.

French and her husband, Paul, placed a secret camera in her 79-year-old mother’s room at the Quadrangle Sunrise Senior Living facility on Darby Road in March after the elderly woman, Lois McCallister, complained that care workers had abused her.

The video from the camera led police to arrest Quadrangle workers Samirah Traynham, Ayesha Muhammad and Tyrina Griffin on assault, harassment and other charges. Each has pleaded not guilty and awaits trial next month.

The lawsuit, which French filed on behalf of her mother, accuses the workers and their employer of negligence, contending that Sunrise failed to properly train its care workers, grossly understaffed the facility, and violated state regulations.

“Sunrise violated virtually every law that was enacted to protect our most vulnerable residents,” said Robert J. Mongeluzzi, a lawyer for the family.

A statement released by Sunrise, which operates more than 31,000 units in three countries, said the company had been expecting the lawsuit.

“While we do not comment on pending litigation, Sunrise is committed to providing the best quality care to seniors and fostering a culture that supports the independence, dignity and respect of our residents,” the statement said.

After the arrests, state regulators revoked the facility’s license but let it stay open while it appealed the action.

Paul French said the couple had received letters from relatives of other Sunrise residents who thanked them for bringing the issue to light.

Since the incident, the couple moved McCallister to their Havertown home. The lawsuit seeks more than $50,000 in damages, but French’s attorneys say their goal is not money.

“This is a case where we want to find out what happened … and make sure it doesn’t happen again,” Mongeluzzi said.


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