An 83-year-old man is suing a retirement home for negligence, alleging that he was trapped in an elevator for about 15 hours while staff members did nothing to help him.
In his lawsuit, Lyman Young claims that the staff and administration of Parkhurst Retirement Residence in Fountain Valley were negligent and guilty of elder abuse.
"What happened was outrageous," said Scott Bernstein, Young's attorney. "The staff knew he was missing, but didn't look for him. . . . They knew that he had missed three meals that day."
Bernstein said that on Aug. 2 Young was trapped alone in an elevator from about 7:20 a.m. to 10:45 p.m. before he was found. There was no indication as to why officials did not check on the stuck elevator during the time Young was missing.
The attorney contends that Young's family even called the facility around 2 p.m. to ask where Young was and was told by a staff member that "they didn't know where he was, and that they didn't have time to keep track of everyone."
Monica Rollins, an assistant administrator at Parkhurst, confirmed that Young was found inside an elevator, but that the staff "disputes the (length of) time" he was trapped.
Rollins said she did not know how he got trapped. "It happened before I started here," she said.
According to Bernstein, the staff of the retirement home had filed a report of a missing person with police.
When officials later discovered that the elevator was stuck, they found an unconscious Young on the elevator floor.
Bernstein said Young suffered a stroke inside the elevator and is now bedridden as a result of being trapped.
"It was terrible elder abuse," Bernstein charged.
The lawsuit, which was filed in Los Angeles Superior Court on Tuesday, seeks unspecified damages.
Since being trapped, Young has moved out of Parkhurst to a different residence home in Orange County, Bernstein said.