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Senior Abuse

This is a settlement for the Nursing Homes lawsuit.

Multnomah County, OR: (May-16-08) A lawsuit was brought against Avamere, an eldercare company, alleging that an 86-year-old woman was handcuffed and restrained on the floor of a Lake Oswego facility. The suit claimed that Elvera Stephan was injured as a result of the gross manhandling that occurred at The Pearl at Kruse Way, an Avamere facility, on April 20, 2006. Sources stated that the facility, located at 4550 Carman Drive, was built in 2005 with an emphasis on providing care for Alzheimer's and dementia patients. It also provides short-term rehabilitation services.

Stephan, then 86, became a client of The Pearl after showing signs of dementia, moving in on April 8, 2006. Records show that 12 days later, when Stephan became confused and accused a caregiver of taking her car keys, a nurse called 9-1-1 from another wing of the facility and asked for help. On reaching the Pearl, the Lake Oswego Police found Stephan on the floor, where she was handcuffed and restrained for several minutes before paramedics took her to a hospital. Hospital records show that Stephan suffered bruising to her forehead and wrists and twisted her knee, leading the Oregon Department of Human Services fining The Pearl $300 for failing to appropriately intervene.

The family brought the suit against the eldercare giant after the death of Stephan. Court papers stated that the family sought $500,000 in punitive damages and $500,000 to compensate Stephan for her loss of dignity. The family also sought compensation for fees paid to The Pearl for her care. As part of a settlement reached in the case, Avamere was ordered by a Multnomah County jury to pay Stephan's family $904,200, resolving the eldercare abuse lawsuit. [PORTLAND TRIBUNE: JURORS DECIDE AVAMERE MUST PAY]


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Published on May-21-08

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