By: Ty Vinson -- The Olympian | Follow this link to access the online article.
A lawsuit has been filed against the companies that run Fieldstone Memory Care in Olympia on behalf of the family of a resident who died at the facility in July.
According to the lawsuit filed Nov. 4 in Thurston County Superior Court by attorney Loren Cochran, resident William Glover, 85, died on July 2 during a Fourth of July celebration at Fieldstone. He had choked on a hot dog and efforts to clear his airway were unsuccessful, according to the suit.
Glover had Parkinsonism and Alzheimer’s dementia. Under the contract Glover’s family had with the memory care facility, the family paid for additional services and amenities for Glover, including one-on-one dining assistance. It was stipulated that all food served to him had to be finely cut or pureed to prevent choking, according to the suit.
According to court documents, Glover was served an unsupervised meal during the Fourth of July celebration that included a non-pureed hotdog. Some time later staff became aware of Glover having difficulty breathing and talking.
Around this same time, an employee who identified themselves as a licensed practical nurse called 9-1-1 and hung up, according to court documents. Emergency services called the facility back and a dispatcher was asked by the nurse to walk them through how to perform the Heimlich maneuver, according to the suit.
Glover’s wife was called shortly after efforts to perform the Heimlich maneuver to inform her that her husband had aspirated a hot dog and was dying. When she arrived at the facility, medics told her Glover had died before they arrived.
An autopsy was performed and Thurston County deputy coroner Karen Peek described the cause of death as asphyxiation due to choking, according to court documents.
The State Department of Social and Health Services’ Residential Care Services branch conducted a complaint investigation into the incident and the facility on Aug. 6. According to a letter by Residential Care Services, the department fined the facility’s licensing entity $3,000 for failure to implement the negotiated service agreement that entailed dietary services and restrictions for Glover, leading to his death.
A trial has been set for March, according to court documents.