scales of justice and law books

A Winston-Salem, NC, assisted living and memory care community is seeking arbitration in a lawsuit involving three former employees accused of encouraging two residents to fight each other.

A lawsuit was filed on behalf of resident Betty Elaine Moore, 75, this past fall against Danby House, operator ALG Senior and three women — former ALG employees — criminally charged with the June 19, 2019, incident. The lawsuit alleges the three women encouraged Moore and a 71-year-old resident to fight each other and then shared videos of the fight with others who posted a video on YouTube.

The former employees — Marilyn Latish McKey, Tonacia Yvonne Tyson and Tanesha Deshawn Jordan — are facing charges of assaulting an individual with a disability.

Moore moved in as a resident to the special care unit for residents with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease on Oct. 24, 2018. Her sister, Pamela Duncan, signed a resident agreement on Moore’s behalf that included an arbitration addendum. The addendum required resolution of “all disputes, claims or controversies” through arbitration. Moore’s attorney said he is not against arbitration, telling the Winston-Salem Journal it “cuts down on the bureaucratic red tape found in civil litigation.”

Danby House issued a statement to the media outlet after the lawsuit was filed, calling it an “isolated incident of criminal misconduct by three former Danby House employees.”

“Danby House does not, and has never, condoned such egregious misconduct, which is contrary to the training, policies and values of this community,” the statement read. “At all times, Danby House has fully cooperated with law enforcement and will continue to do so.”

After the incident, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services temporarily barred Danby House from accepting new residents due to numerous stated “care deficiencies,” including not properly training staff, not administering medications to residents, and employing workers who allowed and encouraged fights between residents. 

The lawsuit, which is seeking $25,000 in damages, further alleges negligent hiring, supervision and retention, and medical negligence, and that Danby House did not immediately contact police when notified about the incident.