WILLIAMSVILLE, N.Y. (WIVB) – When a resident of Brompton Heights Senior Living Facility was treated at ECMC after being found lying in the snow wearing only a nightgown, she had a core body temperature of 82.5 degrees.
That’s according to a Department of Health report on the incident, which News 4 obtained on Wednesday.
The incident happened in December 2017. The woman, Alice Klosko, who was 87 at the time, later died in January 2019, according to Michael Scinta, an attorney with BrownChiari who represents her estate.
“Miss Klosko certainly had a downward spiral after this event.,” Scinta said.
Earlier this week, the New York State Attorney General’s office charged four former Brompton Heights employees with endangering the welfare of a vulnerable elderly person and endangering the welfare of an incompetent person.
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 before leaving together for their break.
All four were fired by Brompton Heights after the incident.
The Department of Health report notes that Klosko may have spent about three hours outside wearing only a nightgown. She was eventually found at around 7:30 on the morning of December 9th. The report notes the temperature that morning was 28 degrees and it was snowing.
Klosko was treated at ECMC for hypothermia and frostbite.
“The staff at the facility showed no regard for the welfare of residents by leaving the entire floor and wing of the facility without any staff for an extended period of time,” the report stated.
“In addition, the administrative staff and operator’s representatives were aware that employees were sleeping on the job and taking extended breaks outside the facility.”
Department of Health records indicate Brompton Heights was cited for 138 violations between 2015 and 2018. Additionally, a Brompton Heights spokesperson acknowledged that they have been charged with eight additional violations in 2019.
“Brompton Heights has made significant strides in compliance and addressing concerns,” the spokesperson said. “Specifically, Brompton Heights has focused on training, staffing, and fostering a culture of compassion.”
On behalf of Klosko’s estate, Scinta is now suing Brompton Heights and its owner, Hamister Group, LLC.
“I think it’s a concern when a facility has that many violations from the Department of Health or citations from the Department of Health that could indicate some type of systemic problem,” Scinta said.