Doris Mitchell suffered a heat stroke from being left in an assisted living facility’s van for six hours. A lawsuit was filed against Elmcroft of Montgomery LLC alleging negligence and outrage. According to the lawsuit, the facility had taken Mitchell on a field trip with other residents. Several hours later, the daughter of Mitchell received a phone call from the facility asking if she had picked up her mother and that she was “missing.” Shortly after, Mitchell was found inside the van which was parked in the facility’s parking lot with the windows rolled up. According to the lawsuit, Mitchell was rushed to Jackson Hospital where she was diagnosed with a heat stroke and other medical complications.
“We hope to be able to get the full set of facts and find out exactly what happened. This obviously has to be a systemic failure in the system at the facility for something like this to happen,” J.P Sawyer, the attorney representing the family, said. “I’ve been handling these kind of cases for 25 years and I always say nothing shocks me, but this did shock me. It’s just you know unbelievable that they could leave someone on a van for that long and not recognize that she was missing.”
“What our mother has endured is beyond our comprehension. We are still trying to absorb the appalling circumstances and we provide her the love and care she needs, and we ask for your prayers during this extremely difficult family crisis.”
Her family released the following statement after her wrongful death:
“Our family grieves today for our mother, Doris Mitchell. Only weeks ago, our mother experienced an ordeal that none of us could possibly imagine. She was locked in a closed van, alone, for over six hours on a day on which the heat index exceeded 105 degrees. The physical and emotional trauma of what she went through has broken our hearts.
When our mother got to the hospital, she had severe heat stroke and failing kidneys. Her fever was so high, they had to pack our 83 year old mother in ice. We have been praying for a recovery, but the episode was ultimately too much for our mother to bear.
It is hard for us to stop thinking about those horrible six hours. There is physical evidence to suggest that our mother, who is unable to walk, tried to escape the van. She could not. She was traumatized by the very people we trusted to take care of her.
We want to thank everyone for their messages of love and prayers for our family. It has meant so much during this extremely difficult time. Thank you.”