Award: $5.5 million Settlement
Attorneys: Lincoln Beauregard, Jack Connelly
This case involves the wrongful death of Darlene M. Clark, a vulnerable, quadriplegic woman who was under the care of the Def. Korean Woman’s Association, Inc. (KWA). Defendant KWA’s caregivers abandoned her and did not try to locate her after she became lost. Plaintiff Clark fell into a roadside ditch filled with water and drowned. Def. KWA had been hired to provide care and treatment for Darlene and was being paid for this service by Def. Pierce County Aging and Long Term Care, but was not following the required care plan, the requirements set forth for case management, or applicable standards of care.
On 11/15/05 Def. KWA was supposed to accompany Ms. Clark on a trip to look for a new apartment. The caregiver, however, left Ms. Clark to ride the bus on her own instead of accompanying her in accordance with the requirements of her care plan. Ms. Clark got off the bus and, left on her own to negotiate the streets, got lost. She ended up going off the road in her wheelchair and upended in a ditch full of water. Her caregiver showed up late. Upon being unable to locate Ms. Clark, and despite knowing that Ms. Clark was missing during the cold night time hours, the caregiver went home and went to bed. Def. KWA did nothing to try and locate Ms. Clark, to inform her family, to contact rescue personnel, or the authorities. Left on her own, Darlene lay all night in the ditch partially full of water slowly suffocating.