Long-term care facility sued after patient chokes to death on plastic bag

Kyle Barnett Dec. 28, 2011, 11:53am

The legal representative of a deceased woman is suing a New Orleans-based long-term care facility for the death.

Marilyn Viola Calcagno filed suit in Orleans Parish Civil District Court against New Orleans-based Dear's Serenity House and its employees for the death of Mary E. Jacob. Jacob's body was found in the yard of the facility on Jan. 1, 2011, and was determined to have died from asphyxiation due to the bag that was found in her mouth.

Jacob was a longtime resident of the facility who was totally disabled due to congenital brain disorder that required 24 hour a day care.

The defendants are thought to have been very familiar with Jacob's condition and are alleged to have neglected Jacob. Negligence is claimed in failing to properly supervise Jacob, improper housekeeping and failing to provide adequate first aid and emergency care.

An unspecified amount in damages is sought for wrongful death, conscious pain and suffering and attorney's fees. The case states Jacob's death was likely severe and traumatic conscious pain and suffering and that should entitle her succession to additional damages. Any damages would go to Jacob's son Jonathan Moragne who has not been located.

Jacob's succession is being represented by Hammond-based attorney Paul L. Billingsley.

The case has been assigned to Division I Judge Piper D. Griffin.

Case number 2011-13071

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