SEVEN FIELDS — A lawsuit was filed this morning on behalf of an 83-year-old woman whose family alleges a staff member at the skilled nursing home where she lived photographed her partially nude and then disseminated the picture on social media.
The lawsuit was filed in the Butler County court by the Pittsburgh-based law firm of Robert Peirce & Associates against Paramount Senior Living at Cranberry. The facility is one of 13 senior living centers operated by Canonsburg-based Paramount Health Resources.
“Every family's worst nightmare became reality when these images were taken and distributed,” attorney Rob Peirce, who represents the family, said in a news release. “Paramount failed to live up to its promises and failed my client in the highest degree.”
Peirce said the woman's family was notified in January by the nursing facility following an investigation tipped off by an anonymous call to the Butler County Area Agency on Aging. The woman was unable to report the incident because she has dementia and is unable to communicate, according to Peirce.
The attorney said the facility's administration told family members that an employee admitted taking the woman's picture while she was in a shower chair. However, the employee did not admit to the woman being naked from the waist down at the time of the picture, nor that they disseminated the image on social media via Snapchat and Facebook.
Pierce said the family contacted his law firm to further investigate. He said the matter is also being investigated by police, but Pierce does not know if charges have been filed yet.
According to its website, Paramount Senior Living at Cranberry is in Seven Fields and works specifically with residents who have Alzheimer's or dementia.
“Paramount Senior Living disputes the characterization of its actions in Plaintiff's Complaint,” Chase Darmstadter, regional director of operations for Paramount Health Resources, said in a news release. “We are sickened by the actions of this employee and do not tolerate this behavior in our senior living communities.”