AMHERST, N.Y. (WIVB) – New York State fined an Amherst senior living facility the maximum amount for an incident in which an elderly woman was allowed to wander out into a cold, dark night wearing only a nightgown, a Department of Health spokesperson confirmed Monday.
Alice Klosko, who was 87 at the time, had to be treated for hypothermia and frostbite after being found on the pavement in the snow at the bottom of the stairs outside of the Brompton Heights senior living facility in December 2017. A state report on the incident found she wandered outside during an overnight shift, and wasn’t found until about 7:30 that morning.
The report found that it was 28 degrees and snowing at the time she was found.
“To safeguard the health and safety of the residents at Brompton Heights, the state Department of Health immediately investigated this incident,” said New York State Department of Health spokesperson Jeffrey Hammond. “As a result of the Department’s investigation, we required the facility to take corrective actions so residents are protected and imposed the maximum allowable fine of $1,000 against Brompton Heights.
“The Department will continue to hold providers accountable for their actions.”
The fine was imposed in July 2018, according to the Department of Health.
“Brompton Heights has made significant strides in compliance and addressing concerns,” a spokesperson for the facility said in July 2019. “Specifically, Brompton Heights has focused on training, staffing, and fostering a culture of compassion.”
Klosko survived after being treated at ECMC. She died in January 2019, according to her family’s attorney.
“From the moment this occurred, Miss Klosko certainly had a downward spiral,” attorney Michael Scinta told News 4 in July.
Four former Brompton Heights employees were charged with endangering the welfare of a vulnerable elderly person by the New York State Attorney General’s office. One of the workers, George Stokes, is alleged to have taken a nap for more than four hours on the night Klosko wandered outside the adult care facility. The other three, LaQuanda Johson, Caprice Newbern, and Stephanie Shinault, are alleged to have ignored the alarms that were set off when Klosko opened an emergency exit door.