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Province files lawsuit against Kamloops nursing home

Lake Country Calendar - 1/4/2018

Kamloops this Week

The provincial government has filed a lawsuit against the operator of a Kamloops nursing home after an altercation between two residents in 2015 turned deadly.

Emily Houston was 84 when she died at Royal Inland Hospital following an incident in which a fellow Kamloops Seniors Village resident pushed her to the ground, breaking her hip, neck and finger.

A subsequent BC Coroners report found Houston died as a result of the injuries sustained in the July 5, 2015, attack, which was perpetrated by a man identified in court papers as "the offending resident."

According to a notice of claim filed this week by Victoria in B.C. Supreme Court, Houston's family made multiple complaints to staff at Kamloops Seniors Village about residents entering her room.

In June 2015, one of Houston's daughters complained about a man entering her mother's room. According to the court document, she "was told that the offending resident 'liked to wander.'"

At least five other relatives of Houston complained to the facility's staff in June 2015, according to the document, about the offending resident entering Houston's room.

"Following the June 2015 complaints, KS [Kamloops Seniors] Village knew, or ought to have known, that the offending resident posed a threat to the safety and wellbeing of Ms. Houston," the province's notice of claim states.

On the day of the attack, according to the document, the offending resident entered Houston's room and took one of her belongings before exiting.

"Ms. Houston followed the offending resident and asked that he return her belongings," the document claims. "In response, the offending resident assaulted Ms. Houston by striking and pushing her to the ground."

Houston died in hospital 10 days later.

The government is looking to have PR Seniors Housing, which operated Kamloops Seniors Village, cover the cost of treating Houston for the 10 days prior to her death, with interest.

Calls for comment to PR Seniors Housing were not returned. The company has 21 days to file a response to the government's notice of claim.

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