Wrongful death, Colorado Consumer Protection Act and fraud lawsuit filed against assisted living facility for resident-on-resident abuse leading to death
The Law Offices of J.M. Reinan, P.C. filed a lawsuit today in the United States District Court for the District of Colorado on behalf of the surviving spouse of Gerald Propp. According to his death certificate, Mr. Propp died on February 23, 2015 of complications of blunt force injuries of the head.
According to the lawsuit, Mr. Propp was a resident at Atria Park at Applewood, an assisted living facility located in Lakewood, Colorado. The suit alleges that Mr. Propp was placed at the facility in the Spring of 2014 due to his increasing dementia and based on the facility’s oral and written promises of twenty-four hour professional care and particular specialization in Alzheimer’s services. Mr. Propp’s wife toured numerous other facilities prior to deciding to place her husband at Atria based on its promises and representations.
The lawsuit further alleges that in December, 2014 Atria admitted another resident that it knew exhibited “significant behavior problems that seriously disrupt the rights of other residents,” and that “Atria knew, at the time of [the other resident’s] admission [he] had a propensity for exhibiting destructive and intentionally dangerous physical behaviors . . .”
This other resident was assigned as Mr. Propp’s roommate.
The suit alleges that during the end of 2014 and beginning of 2015 there were numerous incidences of this other resident’s aggressive and intentionally violent conduct, but that appropriate measures were not taken in response to protect Mr. Propp and other vulnerable residents at the facility. On or around February 9, 2015 this resident physically attacked Mr. Propp, “result(ing) in visible injuries, including scratches and redness to the back of Mr. Propp’s neck. Atria’s executive director later told the [Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment] that this incident was investigated and was found not to be an instance of resident-on-resident abuse.”
On February 20, 2015, at approximately 1:00 p.m., the suit claims that this other resident again became agitated with Mr. Propp, resulting in an actual or threatened physical altercation.
On the morning of February 21, 2015, “an Atria caregiver heard Mr. Propp scream out for help. Upon arriving, one of the caregivers saw [the other resident] walking away from Mr. Propp’s bed. [He] was covered in blood and had blood all over the hands. [The other resident] told the caregiver, ‘If he says one more word, I’m going to kill him.’”
According to the suit, 911 was called and Mr. Propp was emergently transferred to the hospital where he was diagnosed with multiple facial fractures, including a broken nose, as well as multiple brain bleeds and a traumatic brain injury. Mr. Propp died two days later.
Mr. Propp’s wife has brought claims for Negligence Resulting in Wrongful Death, Violation of the Colorado Consumer Protection Act and Fraud.
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