Canyon Creek Memory Care Community Neglecting Patients
Canyon Creek Memory Care Community

Mary Ann Simons had a stroke and was unable to communicate or eat or drink independently, but court documents allege that she was left alone with food and water — and no ability to feed or drink for herself.

In another case, residents started losing weight but staff stopped doing weekly weight checks until the State of Montana ordered them to resume.

One woman noticed that her mom had a black eye. Staff seemed to indicate that the woman had fallen. Her daughter didn’t know that her mom had fallen more than 40 times.

Those are just some of the allegations against Canyon Creek long-term care facility in Billings in a federal lawsuit filed on behalf of three former Canyon Creek residents’ families, who allege that the corporate owners, Koelsch Senior Communities, and Canyon Creek failed to care for the residents, instead wringing profits out of the business, while leaving seniors who lived there to fend for themselves.

Attorney Elizabeth Hausbeck of Hall, Booth and Smith in Missoula said Koelsch does not comment on pending litigation, and declined comment for this story.

In court documents, attorneys for Canyon Creek and Koelsch have denied the allegations, saying that many of the concerns raised in the lawsuit were a function of dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, not the quality of care or staff.

In that respect, Koelsch Senior Communities joins a long and growing list of care facilities that claim that either state or federal exemptions created during the pandemic shield them from liability for patient care during COVID-19. KFF Health News reports that more than 1,100 lawsuits have been filed nationwide, challenging whether the nursing home and rehabilitation centers can be sued. In very broad terms, courts have made a distinction between the pandemic and those who died because of negligence or poor care.

More on this story here.