A War World II vet died with a punctured lung and broken ribs when he was pummeled by a so-called caretaker at his assisted living facility, according to a report.
Landon Terrel, an employee at the Sunrise home in East Cobb, Ga., admitted to beating 91-year-old Adam Neil Bennett – a dementia patient he was supposed to be caring for – before the vet’s death last August, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.
The family of the former US Airman filed a lawsuit against Sunrise on May 30, claiming its executive director knew Terrel, 33, had been violent with two other patients and threatened to kill an employee.
Terrel was indicted in November and booked in Cobb County jail on a felony murder charge.
Sunrise’s $227-a-day memory unit – which housed dementia patients – was direly understaffed, the lawsuit claims, with Terrel being the only aide taking care of 20 patients on some nights.
The suit alleges that Terrel and others weren’t trained well enough, leaving them stressed.
“Sunrise put him in a hopeless situation, and he justifiably became frustrated with Mr. Bennett and unjustifiably got violent,” said Stephen Chance, the family’s attorney.
“It was very difficult for the family when this happened,” Chance said. “They’re very serious about wanting answers about why this happened. They don’t want this to happen to anyone else.”
The suit doesn’t ask for a specific compensation amount. Bennett is survived by his brother, three children and six grandchildren, according to his obituary, but it is unclear which family members are pursuing the suit.
In a statement, a Sunrise spokeswoman Jenn Clark called the incident “a terrible tragedy.”
“Under no circumstances do we tolerate the alleged behavior, which goes against our high standards of care and service,” she told the paper.
Sunrise has over 300 facilities across North America and the United Kingdom.