Berge & Berge, LLP Blog

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Seniors Claim Staff Abandoned Them During Fire

Q: Is alleged abandonment by staff and failure to evacuate assisted living residents during a fire considered elder abuse?

You don't have to live near the California wildfires to have nightmares about losing your home or your life in a fire.

California elder abuse attorneys claim that several elderly residents of an assisted living facility were allegedly "abandoned by staff members while the facility burned during the deadly ‘Tubbs Fire’ in October.”

Reportedly, the three staff members who were responsible for approximately 70 elderly and disabled residents "including a few dozen elders with dementia in a locked unit" did not have a workable evacuation plan when the fire broke out. Allegedly, "all staff left before approximately 24 residents, 14 of them in the dementia care unit, were evacuated."

Family members reportedly rushed to the scene and used "Herculean efforts" to evacuate their loved ones and other residents who were allegedly "physically and cognitively incapable of escaping a burning building without assistance". They were also supposedly assisted in the evacuation efforts by a nearby police officer.

Elder abuse is a charge often leveled against nursing homes and their staff members for falling appallingly short of an excellent standard of care for the senior citizens they are responsible to protect. Elder abuse can take the form of physical, emotional or financial abuse. The abuse can also come at the hands of family, friends, financial advisors, caretakers, and strangers.

In addition to elder abuse, the claims against the nursing home in question by at least four residents and their family members reportedly include false imprisonment, negligence, and intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress.

If you or your loved one has been the victim of elder abuse by a nursing home or at the hands of anyone else, the skilled attorneys at the Law Offices of Berge & Berge can help. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.

From our office in San Jose, we’ve been proudly serving the South Bay area of California for 23 years.


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