The state ordered an assisted living center near DePaul Medical Center to make changes last year after an investigation found the facility failed to protect patients from an aggressive resident.
A Virginia Department of Social Services report from November 2012 was filed with a lawsuit alleging that Province Place of DePaul did not protect a woman who was attacked. The lawsuit also alleges officials tried to cover up the incident.
The alleged attack occurred June 9, 2012. Emily Steele, 81, a patient with dementia, lived in the special care unit near a man known to be aggressive toward residents he believed had entered his room, according to the suit.
Staff knew that Steele often walked by the man’s room, which “presented a real and foreseeable scenario for harm to occur,” according to the lawsuit filed in September by Steele’s daughter, Nancy Stillman.
The lawsuit says staff alerted Stillman to her mother’s injury. She arrived 20 minutes later and found Emily Steele sitting, alone, her face swollen and bleeding, in an activity room. Stillman and her sister took their mother to the emergency room where she was treated for scratches and bruises.
According to the DSS report, Province Place of DePaul made a “self report” on July 30, 2012, and sent DSS an anonymous letter alleging problems at the facility. The lawsuit says the letter was discovered near a copy machine in the assisted living center and appears to have been written by a staffer.
The lawsuit also alleges that according to nurses’ notes, the family was never notified of a December 2011 incident in which the man hit Steele on the head.
A DSS inspector concluded staff “did not protect the residents from known aggressive behavior” of the man.
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Lawsuit cites report criticizing assisted living center