scorecardFamily lawsuit alleges a 97-year-old grandmother 'froze to death' after being locked outside of an assisted living facility
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Family lawsuit alleges a 97-year-old grandmother 'froze to death' after being locked outside of an assisted living facility

Alia Shoaib   

Family lawsuit alleges a 97-year-old grandmother 'froze to death' after being locked outside of an assisted living facility
LifeInternational2 min read
  • A lawsuit alleges a grandmother 'froze to death' after being locked outside a Colorado assisted living facility
  • The woman, 97, was seen in surveillance footage banging on a door before, it's alleged, she "froze to death."

The family of a 97-year-old woman is suing an assisted-living facility over claims she "froze to death" after becoming accidentally locked outside, Fox News reported.

Mary Jo Staub died after she wandered outside the Balfour at Lavender Farms facility in Louisville, Colorado, in freezing temperatures around 12:40 am on February 26, 2022.

The grandmother was captured on surveillance footage "banging on the glass panes of the French doors located directly adjacent to the nurses' station for help," according to the wrongful death lawsuit seen by Fox News.

Staub, who her family described as a "beloved mother and grandmother," was locked outside wearing "only pajamas, a robe, boots, and gloves," the lawsuit said.

The elderly woman tried to trudge through the snow with her walker to reach the nurse's station for help, at one point abandoning the walker and crawling on her hands and knees for 75 feet, leaving a trail of blood in the snow.

She then collapsed on the ground, according to the surveillance footage cited in the lawsuit, and her body was found more than five hours later.

Workers at the facility did not walk past the French doors between 12:18 am and 5:51 am, and the security cameras were not being monitored that night, according to the lawsuit.

"Assisted living facilities are supposed to provide protective oversight for our elderly loved ones," Elizabeth Hart, an attorney representing Staub's family, told Fox News Digital. "The Staub family wants to ensure this doesn't happen to any other member of this vulnerable population."

Staub appeared unwell the day before her death, as she was seen by a staff member "confused and hallucinating" and claimed that she had seen people "hissing" at her, per the lawsuit.

She had been living at the facility since 2019 after she became "unable to live independently."

"We are deeply saddened by this tragic event that never should have happened. As soon as we were notified, we sent experts to the facility to investigate what occurred and ensure the safety of other residents," Elaine McManis, from the Colorado Department of Public Health, told CBS News Colorado.

"Where we found deficiencies, we required the facility to quickly make changes and closely monitored the facility until it completed all corrective actions."




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