The Law Office of David Jamieson | Elder Abuse Lawyer

Dementia Patient Escaped Facility And Hit By Truck

Lee was living on her own in her own home. Her memory loss, increasing confusion, and wandering culminated in her being found by a neighbor injured and lying in bushes. After her release from the hospital, her daughter, fearful for Lee’s safety, arranged for her to be admitted to a facility which provided residential care for people with dementia diagnoses.

Lee’s daughter was assured that she would be safe. Because the facility had a “secure perimeter,” including doors that would only open if a code were entered in a keypad, she would not be able to wander from the facility. To further protect her, her daughter agreed to the use of a Code Alert wristband which would alert staff if she tried to leave.

Around five months later, Lee made an unnoticed escape from the facility. Video showed her making her way down a hallway with a sweater draped over her arm and a purse in her hand.

No Code Alert wristband was anywhere in sight. The keypad code had not been changed for years. It had been provided to numerous residents and their families and Lee was able to learn it. After a first try, she re-entered the code and strolled out the door. No facility personnel saw her make her way down the hallway and no one saw her leave.

After a stop at a nearby restaurant for a glass of water, she continued wandering, eventually making her way to a freeway, where she was hit by a truck, causing massive injuries.

Despite its agreement, the facility failed to provide a Code Alert wristband to her. No one at the facility noticed that she was missing until her daughter received a call from the hospital advising of Lee’s injuries. She in turn called the facility to inquire about Lee’s whereabouts. By this time, Lee had been missing for around three hours.

Lee was hospitalized for over a month and then transferred to a nursing home. Although her orthopedic surgeon ordered that she be seen in his office within 3 to 5 days, the nursing home failed to arrange this. Her daughter became increasingly concerned and took Lee to the doctor’s office. He discovered that her dressings had not been changed since her nursing home admission and that she needed to be readmitted to the hospital for surgery.


The nursing home provided her with “no care of her foot at all.” The “bandage change was quite an event in the office with terribly smelling and horrible wholly wounded foot revealed from the bandage change.” Her foot was necrotic, and her toe had exposed bone. Most shockingly, there were “maggots in wound.”

Lee was subjected to further hospitalizations and surgeries. She never fully recovered from her injuries. She and her family retained the Law Office of David M. Jamieson. Her case against the residential care facility and the nursing home was resolved to her satisfaction and the satisfaction of her family.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a nursing home or other care facility, contact the Law Office of David M. Jamieson for a consultation (209) 521-1269.