Claim Denied Regarding Elderly Man Found Dead 10 Months After Wandering From a Hospital

The board of directors for on hospital has denied the claim of the family of an elderly man who wandered away from the hospital in December 2010. His body was found 10 months later in a ditch along the highway. The board of the medical center voted without discussion to deny the claim. The family is free to file a lawsuit now that the claim has been formally denied.

The family says that they held out hope during the 10 months that the man was missing. The 81-year-old suffered from dementia, but his son said he had the vitality of a younger man.

The incident occurred following a hospitalization on Dec. 19, 2010, after the man experienced a fall. According to hospital surveillance video, the elderly man walked out of the hospital at 4 a.m. dressed in his street clothes but clutching a hospital gown in his hands. A hospital gown and socks were found nearby and multiple witness later reported seeing the man.

The family held out hope that his father would be found stating, "my family and I continued to believe and pray that my father was alive... It was not until his remains were identified on or about October 12, 2011, that I and my siblings knew of his death." For more, read the story.


Robert W. Carter, Jr. is a Virginia attorney whose law practice is dedicated to protecting the rights of the victims of nursing home and assisted living neglect and abuse in Richmond, Roanoke, Norfolk, Lynchburg, Danville, Charlottesville, and across Virginia.

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