Mary Jo Staub's family is now suing Balfour at Lavender Farms assisted-living facility in Louisville, Colorado blaming the center's staff for negligence.
Trigger Warning: This article contains graphic details that may be distressing to readers.
A 97-year-old froze to death after she was locked out of her assisted living facility. Mary Jo Staub's family is now suing Balfour at Lavender Farms assisted-living facility in Louisville, Colorado blaming the center's staff for negligence. Surveillance video showed the elderly woman who was wearing nothing but her pajamas, robe, boots, and gloves wandering unsupervised outside the facility before she got locked out.
The nearly 100-year-old woman was seen walking through the snow using her walker. After she injured her ankle she "crawl(ed) on her hands and knees" towards the doors, "leaving a blood trail in the snow." She began banging on the doors for help, but no one found her for hours. She ultimately collapsed an hour later from the cold. It took more than 5 hours for a staff member to finally find her outside, according to the lawsuit per CBS News.
A wrongful death complaint filed by the family of 97-year-old Mary Jo Staub against Balfour Senior Living alleges she froze to death after being locked outside of her Louisville assisted living facility.https://t.co/ibAVDtrIib— CPR News (@CPRNews) January 22, 2023
The lawsuit further stated that despite banging on the glass for help, "no one at Lavender Farms was monitoring the security cameras that night... 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." An autopsy revealed she had died from hypothermia.
"Assisted living facilities are supposed to provide protective oversight for our elderly loved ones," Elizabeth Hart, the Staub family's attorney, said in a statement. "The Staub family wants to ensure this doesn't happen to any other member of this vulnerable population."
Mary Jo Staub wandered outside of the Balfour at Lavender Fields senior living home in the middle of a cold, snowy night. No one came to her rescue. Read about the lawsuit and investigation here: https://t.co/3h0EDssmsf— Noelle Phillips (@Noelle_Phillips) January 20, 2023
The Washington Post reports the family is suing the assisted-living center as well as its chief executive and the two employees who worked the night Staub died. The allegations include felonious killing and negligence resulting in wrongful death. Elaine McManis with Colorado’s Department of Public Health and Environment, the agency that investigated her death, said they were “deeply saddened” by Staub’s death. “As soon as we were notified, we sent experts to the facility to investigate what occurred and ensure the safety of other residents,” McManis said in a statement. “Where we found deficiencies, we required the facility to quickly make changes, and closely monitored the facility until it completed all corrective actions.”
The Staub family remembered Mary Jo in an obituary stating that she "lived her life as a devoted and loving wife, mother, and entrepreneur" who "worked all her years to get ahead and provide a wonderful life for her family."
The obituary continued, "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," the family said. "Rest In Peace. You are loved beyond words. A life well lived."
Representative Cover Image Source: Getty Images | Photo By Ilya Mikhailovsky / EyeEm