Attorney: Nursing home dragging out lawsuit until raped woman dies

Family files lawsuit against Brookdale Senior Living after loved one attacked

By Jim Piggott - Reporter

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A 95-year-old woman who police said was raped inside a Regency nursing home last April has taken a turn for the worse, her family's attorney said.

The family has filed suit against Brookdale Senior Living on Atrium Way, claiming lax security allowed their loved one to be attacked.

The woman, who News4Jax is identifying only as “Jane,” had lived in the home for eight years when an intruder dressed in scrubs assaulted her from behind, threw her onto a bed and raped her, according to a police report. DNA tests showed the attacker was not someone who worked at the facility, police said.

Jane has been moved to another nursing home, but her loved ones want to be able to bring her home for the remainder of her days with 24/7 at-home care.

The family's attorney, Tom Edwards, said Brookdale Senior Living should have to cover those costs. He's called their offers for a settlement “insulting.”

“We believe they are delaying this case and seeking to drag it out until she dies,” Edwards said.

Edwards said Jane was thriving before the attack but is no longer doing well.

He said the family had to wait 75 days to allow Brookdale to respond to their complaint before a lawsuit could be filed.

After the initial media reports about the attack, Brookdale made safety changes, but some residents were concerned the changes -- like boarding up windows -- could create new dangers.

Edwards said the lawsuit filed by Jane's family can't force the company to make more changes, but he is hoping that bringing the attack -- and what he called lax security -- to light will help other residents in the future.

A spokeswoman for Brookdale Senior Living sent the following when asked for a response to Edwards' claims:

“As a matter of company policy, we do not comment on pending litigation, thus we cannot comment on the attorney’s remarks in regard to the lawsuit.”

It is common for lawsuit defendants, especially businesses, not to comment on pending litigation.

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