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Archive for Thursday, November 29, 2001

Lawsuit contends lax resident care to blame in death

November 29, 2001

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Two years ago, 81-year-old Lloyd A. Brooks Sr. fell and broke his hip. After a two-week stay at Lawrence Memorial Hospital, he went to Colonial Manor of Lawrence nursing home, 3015 W. 31st St. He died two months later.

Brooks' family members have filed a lawsuit in Douglas County District Court, accusing the home of contributing to their father's death.

In the lawsuit, family members say Brooks' time at Colonial Manor was marked by multiple infections, bedsores, dehydration, malnutrition, weight loss, missed medications and a "lack of adequate daily hygiene."

Margaret Farley, a Lawrence attorney representing Brooks' family, declined comment on the case.

"All I can do is refer you to what's been filed," she said. "That's all I can say."

Brooks' daughter, Marilyn Merritt, Lawrence, also declined comment.

Family members are seeking more than $75,000 in damages.

A lifelong Lawrence resident, Brooks is survived by two daughters, a son, a stepdaughter, 13 grandchildren and 18 great-grandchildren.

A Lawrence native, Brooks worked for Jayhawk Box Factory for 35 years after returning from World War II. He retired in 1979.

Colonial Manor administrator Dick Boswell declined comment on the lawsuit, noting he's been with the Lawrence facility for only a few months.

"This all happened before I got here," he said. "I'm afraid I don't know anything about it."

Lawyers representing Beverly Enterprises, the Arkansas-based corporation that owns and operates Colonial Manor, said they had not seen a copy of the lawsuit. They, too, declined comment.

State records show Colonial Manor was blocked from admitting new residents Jan. 25, 2000 eight days after Brooks' death after inspectors cited the home for poor care. The ban was lifted March 20, 2000.

In August 2001, federal officials threatened to deny Colonial Manor access to Medicaid and Medicare funding after inspectors confirmed reports of workers not doing enough to monitor two diabetic patients' blood-sugar levels.

Officials rescinded the threat Sept. 19 after the home passed a follow-up inspection.

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