The family of Carrie DeLay is suing the Motion Picture and Television Fund and its longterm care facility for the death of a 89-year-old patient, who fell to her death under mysterious circumstances last October.
The family is seeking unspecified damages and charging the MPTF with wrongful death, patient neglect, elder abuse and violation of the patient's Bill of Rights.
"She dedicated her life to the movie industry and paid into the fund so she could live in this place. It's so unfair that there had to be this type of ending, and there’s no explanation," Anthony Lanzone, an attorney for the family, told TheWrap. "We want people to know that there is no shame in coming forward and telling the truth."
A spokesperson for the MPTF declined to comment on pending litigation.
As TheWrap first reported, the wheelchair-bound DeLay was found at the bottom of a staircase at the MPTF Woodland long-term care facility on October 17 after suffering a fall.
She died a week later.
The state launched an investigation shortly thereafter. However, investigators could not find any witnesses who could explain the circumstances of her tumble: The wheelchair-bound patient was last seen 300 feet from the stairs. To get to them she should would have somehow been able to push open a heavy fire door.
DeLay had been a resident for more than a decade and suffered from advanced Alzheimer’s disease. She was entirely dependent on nurses in order to get around, her attorneys claim.
"The Motion Picture & Television Hospital and its staff failed to use the degree of care that a reasonable person in the same situation would have used in assisting Ms. Delay with her care, failed to properly supervise her, and did not protect her from health and safety hazards that resulted in her death," DeLay's attorney charged in a statement.
After news of DeLay's death first broke, critics of the Motion Picture Fund home charged that low staffing levels and lax oversight were partly to blame for the accident.