Nursing home allowed resident to escape; wrongful death complaint filed

Kelly Holleran Feb. 23, 2010, 10:52am

The wife and daughter of a deceased man have filed suit against the nursing home that they say allowed the man to escape, leading to his death.

Lois Lane and Karen R. Lane, the wife and daugher of Jewel Lane, claim Jewel Lane was admitted to defendant Maryville Manor's nursing home on March 24.

But they say while Jewel Lane was living at the nursing home, he fell on April 1, then was allowed to leave the premises unattended on April 7. According to the complaint filed Feb. 17 in Madison County Circuit Court, Jewel Lane died on April 7 because of exposure to the elements, pulmonary arrest and hypothermia.

Before his death, Jewel Lane suffered pain, the suit states.

Because of Jewel Lane's death, his wife and daughter have lost his financial support, affection and companionship and were denied his care and comfort, the complaint says. In addition, they say they incurred funeral and medical costs.

The surviving Lanes blame the nursing home for causing their father's and husband's death, saying employees there failed to properly supervise Jewel Lane to prevent him from leaving the nursing home, failed to provide adequate staff to prevent him from leaving the nursing home unattended, failed to protect him from neglect, failed to timely notify his physician of changes in his condition and failed to assure his environment was free of hazards. In addition, staff at Maryville Manor negligently failed to provide adquate warnings to the proper personnel to quickly locate Jewel Lane; failed to properly secure exits, including windows, so that patients could not escape unnoticed; failed to provide Jewel Lane adequate care so he would not harm himself; and failed to house Jewel Lane in a room that would prevent him from exiting the premises, the complaint says.

In the four-count suit, the Lanes seek a judgment of more than $200,000, plus attorneys' fees and costs.

They will be represented by William L. Berry and Kevin J. Newton of William Berry and Associates in Collinsville.

Madison County Circuit Court case number: 10-L-172.

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