An assisted living center in Louisville, Colorado is now facing a wrongful death lawsuit almost a year after an elderly resident was found frozen to death outside of the facility in February of 2022, Fox News reported.
Mary Jo Staub was placed in the care of Balfour at Lavender Farms after she had been been experiencing confusion, depression and memory loss, and was determined by healthcare professionals to need close monitoring. With the starting rates of $7,500 a month, Staub’s relatives paid an additional $1,500 every month for heightened care. Despite their extra efforts to keep their loved one safe, no one was watching Staub when she wandered outside in below-freezing temperatures in the middle of the night.
In a surveillance video, Staub is seen wandering the facility, getting locked out, and then banging on the doors for help. She made her way to a snow mound that was near the nurse’s station’s window and climbed it, but injured herself trying to get their attention. According to CBS News, she then crawled on her hands and knees towards the doors again, leaving a blood trail. Despite banging on a glass window for five hours, “No one at Lavender Farms was monitoring the security cameras that night,” the lawsuit states. “Not a single Balfour employee noticed Staub was locked out of the facility… Not a single Balfour employee was present to help Mary Jo in any way.”
The Louisville Police Department did not press criminal charges against any of the employees responsible for Staub’s death, but the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment conducted their own investigation and issued eight violations against the facility. Their findings were also listed in the lawsuit.
“Mary Jo will be greatly missed by all that knew her and forever be an inspiration to her family on how hard work, grit and determination will take one far in life,” her obituary read. “Rest In Peace. You are loved beyond words. A life well lived.”