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Assisted Living Facility Resident Dies after Being Left on Bus, Lawsuit Filed but Owners and Insurance Absent

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87-year-old Susanna West was an active resident at the former Hearthstone Assisted Living Facility in Grand Rapids, Michigan, before being left on a bus for 14 hours in early September, 2008. While family, police, and staff searched for her after she didn’t return from a morning shopping trip to Meijer, West became so thirsty and hungry she ate the Tylenol and drank the hydrogen peroxide in the first aid kit on the bus. She died in November.

West’s niece and estate overseer, LaShanda Snell filed a lawsuit in 2010 against the Texas-based Hearthstone facility, however, the company never responded to legal requests for information and records. By December, legal counsel for the company had been withdrawn, and company assets had been purchased by a separate entity. As the remnants of the company disappeared, Hearthstone’s self funded insurance seemed to have dissolved as well.

Judge Christopher Yates approved a default judgment of $1.65 million, but with no liability insurance, Snell might never collect. The Grand Rapids Press reports that Snell’s attorney is trying to track down the former board of directors of Hearthstone, and will attempt to “get satisfaction” from the new administration, but Snell may never get answers.

“I did my research,” Snell said. “I checked their records, I visited the home during every shift, I visited (West) every day. I never thought to check to see if they had insurance.”

breakinglawsuitnews.com disclaimer: This article: Assisted Living Facility Resident Dies after Being Left on Bus, Lawsuit Filed but Owners and Insurance Absent was posted on Thursday, December 29th, 2011 at 12:29 am at breakinglawsuitnews.com and is filed under Nursing Home Abuse Lawsuits.

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