Verdict in Assisted Living

CBS12 reported on the tragic case of Kathleen Menard. Harbor Place assisted living facility accepted her as a resident. In July 2017, the Facility allowed the 97 year old vulnerable adult to ambulate without supervision or assistance in an outside courtyard. Menard slipped off her motorized scooter, lying in the extreme Florida heat.

A visitor finally found an unconscious Menard four hours later. She had suffered painful burns and a heatstroke. She never recovered and passed away 87 days later.

The facility had provided Menard with a safety pendant. She can request assistance with the pendant, and the staff must respond. However, the pendant does not work outside. The facility failed to tell Menard that the pendant did not work outside.

The family of Kathleen Menard sued Port St. Lucie Retirement Investors who owned and operated the for-profit facility. Menard’s children, on behalf of her estate, allege that the facility chose not to ensure her safety by, among other things, checking on her while she was outside, installing security cameras in the courtyard and trimming the trees in the courtyard to ensure staff members had a full view of residents who were outside of the facility.

A jury agreed and awarded Kathleen and her family $6 million to compensate for her wrongful death, pain and suffering, and to reimburse medical bills.

Menard’s daughter says:

“I’m hoping legislation will change, and it’ll also change for other people so nobody ever has to go through this. This is the worst thing I’ve ever dealt with in my life, and I will never, ever live it down”.