Lawsuit blames nursing home for woman's death

Updated: May. 22, 2018 at 2:27 PM EDT
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WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- A Palm Beach County woman is suing Lakeside Health Center in West Palm Beach after she says it left her grandmother outside for hours in 91-degree weather and she later died,

98-year-old Eva Mae Rhodes had dementia, was wheelchair bound, and couldn't talk.

According to a Florida Department of Children and Families report, her temperature was 103 degrees when she was taken to the hospital in May 2017.

DCF investigators called her sunburned and blistered shoulders "horrible." They said she shouldn't have been outside by herself in the hot sun.

But Rhodes's granddaughter Candace McKinley said she found her grandmother outside by herself several times before her death and staff assured her it would never happen again.

Ultimately DCF found Lakeside Health Center provided inadequate supervision.

"I trusted Lakeside with her care. She took care of me and I trusted her. The roles turned and she trusted me to make sure that she was taken care of...and they failed," said McKinley.

WPTV found that Lakeside Health Center has been sued three times in the past 10 years for negligence. That includes failing to properly monitor and prevent falls and causing infections and wounds due to negligence.

Lawyers for Rhodes said they reached out to the Palm Beach County State Attorney's Office after this happened but prosecutors said they needed to contact West Palm Beach police. West Palm Beach police have had an investigation open since last year.

Contact 5 Investigator Sam Smink will have more on this story on WPTV at 5 and 6 p.m.

Scripps Only Content 2018