A $750,000 settlement reached in June between a Pennsylvania nursing home and Francis X. Ounan has been approved by a federal judge. Ounan, the executor of his mother’s estate, filed suit against nursing home chain Sunrise Senior Living Services, Inc. on January 15, seeking damages for claims of negligence and wrongful death. Nursing home administrator Lynn Plasha and nurse Cynthia Harbaugh were also named as defendants.
Ounan’s mother, Margaret Ounan Boyle, died in November of 2005 from injuries she sustained while wandering from the nursing home. The day after her admission, Boyle fell while wandering from the nursing home, sustaining head injuries. She was found with police assistance and taken to the hospital, where she was diagnosed with bleeding of the brain and died the next morning.
Ounan claims that the nursing home knew at the time of his mother’s admission that her Alzheimer’s made her a high-risk for wandering. Ounan claims that the nursing home was grossly negligent in failing to institute adequate measures to prevent its residents from wandering. Further, he claims, the nursing home failed to formulate a plan to address his mother’s tendency to wander.
Federal Judge Stewart Dalzell signed an order to approve the deal early in July.
For more information on this subject, please refer to our section on Nursing Home and Elder Abuse.