Jury awarded other plaintiff beaten by same resident $3.6 million
An Aurora nursing home is being sued for a second time over allegations that a resident with a history of violence continues to injure other residents and that the facility does not have enough staff to properly care for the Alzheimer’s and dementia patients who live there.
The lawsuit filed last week in Arapahoe County District Court accuses Renew Saddle Rock of putting its financial goals over residents’ safety by under-staffing the home.
In October, an Arapahoe County jury awarded a former resident a $3.6 million verdict after he was beaten by a fellow resident, who has been identified as “Anne B.” Two months after the verdict, the nursing home owners changed the facility’s name to Renew Saddle Rock from Peregrine Senior Living at Aurora, the lawsuit said.
The new lawsuit was filed by Denver attorneys Jerome Reinan, Jordana Gingrass and Beth Dombroski on behalf of Joanna Dryva, whose mother, Maria Pallman, was injured in the attack. Dryva is seeking more than $100,000 in damages against Renew and the nursing home’s corporate owners, First Phoenix-Aurora of Wisconsin and Peregrine Management of Colorado.
The latest lawsuit accuses Anne B. of pummeling Pallman, a 92-year-old, wheelchair-bound woman who also suffers from dementia. On May 29, Anne B. hit Pallman in the face as she sat in a wheelchair in a hallway, the lawsuit said. Pallman now suffers from anxiety, and recurring headaches that she didn’t have before the assault, the lawsuit said.
The nursing home has refused to turn over surveillance footage of the assault, it said.
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Attempts to reach the director of Renew and the facility’s owners were unsuccessful.
The lawsuit also accuses former nursing director, Britny Otto, of violating state law when she denied that Anne B. had assaulted a staff member during testimony about the first lawsuit.
“Despite actual knowledge that it was understaffed, Otto and Peregrine aggressively marketed Peregrine as having higher staffing than its competitors, as well as a better activities program than its competitors,” the lawsuit said. Otto had failed to report Anne B.’s assault on a staff member to police or the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment as required by Colorado law, the lawsuit said.
Renew Saddle Rock’s website said the memory care facility offers “all of the services and amenities that provide residents and families complete peace of mind, while transcending the status quo with experiential innovations like custom jewelry design and woodworking with local artists or private concerts with wine and cheese pairings.”
Peregrine actually staffed the nursing home with only one worker for up to 28 dementia patients during night shifts and on weekends, the lawsuit said.
Dryva would not have admitted her mother to the nursing home if she had been told about the first assault and the fact that Anne B. was still living in the home, the lawsuit said.
Anne B. has also been accused of assaulting a third Renew resident, who was identified as “Josephine,” and a worker who quit because of the attack, the lawsuit said. The nursing home did not report the assaults to law enforcement or licensing authorities, the lawsuit said.
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