Family of Nursing Home Resident Killed in Accident Sues for Damages

The relatives of a woman who died in a Deschutes County retirement facility are now suing the facility for damages in a wrongful death lawsuit. Learn more below about the accident and the duties of care held by Oregon nursing homes.

The recent lawsuit was filed by the surviving family members of Wilmetta June Cornell, who died at age 95 in September of 2016. For the final four years of her life, Wilmetta had been living at the Aspen Ridge Retirement Community, located east of Pilot Butte in Bend, Oregon. Pilot Butte functions both as a retirement community and an assisted living facility.

On September 10, 2016, Wilmetta was using her walker as she passed through a hallway in Aspen Ridge. An employee was pushing a laundry cart behind her. According to Wilmetta’s family members, the employee negligently collided with Wilmetta. The resident immediately collapsed onto her left side, reporting pain through her left leg and hip.

At first, Wilmetta was simply taken to her apartment. After three hours, the Cornell family’s lawsuit alleges that Wilmetta’s pain had increased to extreme levels, leaving her immobilized in her chair. The woman was then transported by ambulance to St. Charles Medical Center in Bend. Wilmetta was forced to undergo hip surgery two days later. After her surgery, she suffered a drop in blood pressure and became unresponsive. Several hours later, Ms. Cornell passed away.

The Cornell family filed a lawsuit against Aspen ridge in November of 2017, alleging that the facility and its employee had negligently caused the accident and Ms. Cornell’s subsequent wrongful death. The family is seeking $2.3 million in damages from the facility.

Nursing homes and assisted living facilities have a legal duty to provide a safe setting for their residents. Staff members are expected to not only administer physical and medical services with care, but also to keep residents’ limited physical capabilities in mind when interacting with them within the facility or working in areas where residents are likely to be present. If nursing home or assisted living facilities are careless or negligent when carrying out maintenance tasks or interacting with residents and injure a resident in the process, they may be held legally responsible for those injuries through a claim for damages.

If you or someone you love has been injured in an Oregon nursing home accident or through an incident of elder abuse, find out if you have a legal claim for compensation based on these injuries by contacting the dedicated and skilled Bend personal injury lawyers at the offices of Dwyer Williams Cherkoss Attorneys for a free consultation at 541-604-8818.