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Saratoga County Nursing Home Death Raises Questions

Published January 2, 2013 by Scott Gottlieb, Injury Law Attorney

The family of a Saratoga County nursing home resident found dead outside his room before Christmas is raising questions about the quality of care and supervision leading up to his death.

The 85-year-old man reportedly climbed out of a window in his room and died of hypothermia on a freezing night over the holidays.

But relatives say Fred Decker lived on the second floor and could not have climbed out of his room.

Families of people who die from elder care abuse in New York nursing home might have a claim for financial compensation under certain circumstances. A free consultation with an experienced New York wrongful death lawyer can provide more information.

Here is a news account of the Decker death:

According to a statement released by the [Saratoga County Nursing Home] Board of Supervisors, Decker climbed out of a window in his room.

John Manolakis, Decker’s son-in-law, said the 85-year-old lived on the second floor. He was frail and couldn’t have managed an escape from the window in his room, which only opened about 6 inches, Manolakis said. Decker was found near the door below the window with his walker. He wore a bracelet designed to set off an alarm if he walked through a door in the facility. Manolakis said the police checked to see if the alarm worked, and it did. He also said Decker had no injuries that would indicate a fall.

Decker was known to wander and had been moved to the second floor in a secure wing.

On the night in question, he was reportedly in his room at 11 PM when the staff did a round of bed checks. He was discovered missing at 1 AM and located after a search of the grounds.

The family had previously complained about his treatment.

John Manolakis said he was angry his father-in-law wasn’t watched as well as he could have been.

The preliminary cause of death is hypothermia, but an autopsy was scheduled. The state Department of Health is investigating the incident.


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