Family Files Wrongful Death Suit Against Nursing Home

By Stephanie Parkinson

March 5, 2013 Updated Mar 5, 2013 at 7:50 PM EDT

Fort Wayne, Ind. (www.incnow.tv) - More than a year later a Fort Wayne family is still looking for answers in the death of their loved one at a local nursing home. Now a wrongful death lawsuit has been filed by Betty Riley’s family. An apology and an explanation are what the family says they wish for most.

Riley’s death was ruled a homicide by the Allen County Coroner in December 2011 but all the family was told by her caregivers is Betty had a stroke, and fell.

Betty had Alzheimer’s. She lived at Summit City Nursing and Rehabilitation on North Clinton.

At first the family saw it as an accident and accepted that. But soon after her death the Indiana State Department of Health launched an investigation.

That revealed Betty actually died from injuries after she was assaulted by another Alzheimer’s resident. The accident left her with an egg sized hematoma on the back of her head.

The family doesn't blame the other resident but they're shocked no one was around to stop it at the facility.

And to hear the word homicide left Betty's son fearing the worst.

"Was she shot? Was she stabbed? We didn't know anything. All we knew is they told us she fell down and had a stroke, and that's how we were looking at everything,” said Mark Riley, Betty's Son. “It was kind of an emotional ride believe me. You know, we couldn't figure out what happened.”

"This case has egregious facts. It involves lies, the cover up of a homicide and two corporations who basically placed profit over patient care," said Stephen M. Wagner, Attorney, WAGNER REESE, LLP.

Betty’s two sons Bruce and Mark are filing the suit against the Health and Hospital Corporation of Marion County and American Senior Communities. The nursing home, Summit City Nursing and Rehabilitation, is operated by American Senior Communities but owned by HHS.

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