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Nursing Home Resident Indicted in Roomate’s Murder: Was Neglect Involved?

An unusual murder at a nursing home in Massachusetts is grabbing the interest of nursing home attorneys around the country. Does the murder of a 100-year-old patient at an elder care facility by her 98-year-old roommate qualify as grounds for neglect by staff?

The incident occurred at a nursing home in Massachusetts. The victim, Elizabeth Barrow and was found strangulated in her bed in September this year. Indicted in her death is Barrow’s roommate, 98-year-old Laura Lundquist. Lundquist will likely not stand trial, and has been ordered by a judge to undergo a competency evaluation.

According to the victim’s son, Scot Barrow, his mother had told him that she had been frequently threatened and harassed by Lundquist. Scott was concerned enough about these threats to bring them to the notice of the nursing home authorities. However, his concerns were shot down by staff who said that the roommates got along just fine.

Obviously, things weren’t as peachy perfect as the nursing home staff hoped. On the night that Barrow died, she apparently complained that Lundquist had blocked her way to the bathroom with a table. The nurses intervened, and got the table removed. The next morning, Barrow was dead in her bed with a plastic bag wrapped around her neck. The table that had been removed the previous night was back at the foot of her bed.

Scott Barrow has confirmed that he asked nursing home authorities if they could place his mother in a separate room from Lundquist. As Atlanta nursing home abuse attorneys, we believe it’s pertinent to ask some questions here.If Barrow’s son had indeed spoken to the nursing home authorities on these concerns, why were no attempts made to separate the two women?

According to the local district attorney, Lundquist has a history of paranoia and other mental issues.Elderly patients at nursing homes do often suffer from dementia, paranoia, depression and other medical conditions, but if Lundquist’s paranoia or hostility was a threat to Barrow’s safety, why wasn’t staff able to pick up on this threat and separate the two, thereby preventing this tragedy?