Community ordered to pay family $587,000 after resident falls, dies

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A Washington senior living community was ordered to pay the family of a former resident almost $587,000 after the 97-year-old woman fell and died several months later.

Violet Moseson's family maintained that she wasn't found for more than 30 hours after she fell in her apartment in March 2014 at Merrill Gardens in Tacoma, the News Tribune reports. Residents of the community are supposed to check in every morning using an alarm system; if they don't check in, then a staff member is supposed to follow up, according to a report by arbiter Kathy Cochran cited by the newspaper. Moseson, a new resident, couldn't use the alarm system in her apartment because it hadn't been activated, Cochran said. A family member found her.

After the fall, Moseson was hospitalized for an extended period of time, and she died in January 2015. “I conclude Violet may have lived another two years, with better quality of life requiring less intrusive assistance,” had it not been for the circumstances, Cochran wrote.

An arbitration agreement was finalized between Moseon's family and Merrill Gardens earlier this month, and the family was paid $586,599.06.

“We want to express our sincere apologies to the Moseson family,” Merrill Gardens President David Eskenazy said in a statement provided to McKnight's Senior Living. The company has more than 30 communities in six states, according to its website. “At Merrill Gardens, we hold ourselves to a high standard for providing quality care, and in this case, we let Mrs. Moseson and ourselves down,” he added.

Merrill Gardens has reviewed its call system procedures and has implemented changes to prevent similar events in the future, Eskenazy said.

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