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Family sues Folsom senior living facility two years after alleged abuse caught on camera

The lawsuit against Brookdale Folsom claims elder abuse and wrongful death.

Barbara Collier was 89 years old when her family says she died after escaping the Caldor Fire, and faced abuse at a senior facility. Now, they've filed a lawsuit and are calling for change.

"They're promising 'we will take care of your loved ones,'" said Rebecca Gyorgy.

Two years ago, Gyorgy and her family chose Brookdale Folsom Senior Living Facility to care for her grandmother, but within days of checking Collier into the facility, Gyorgy says she started noticing bruises on the 89-year-old.

"We saw bruises and that's why we put the camera in, in the first place," said Gyorgy.

That hidden camera caught employees allegedly pulling her hair and slapping her. Shortly after, Gyorgy says her grandmother passed away and she believes it was because of the abuse.

"This is horrible is one of the worst things I've ever been through in my life," she said.

Following this incident, the facility told ABC10 those employees no longer work for the company and it takes the health and well being of its residents seriously.

"It shouldn't happen to anybody else and maybe if they have to paid for their mistakes, it won't. We will make sure it doesn't," said Gyorgy.

Now, Gyorgy and her family have filed a lawsuit against Brookdale claiming elder abuse and wrongful death. Gyorgy says it's about getting justice for her grandmother, but also holding the facility accountable.

"What I would like to see done is have it mandatory that all caregivers have to wear body cams," said Gyorgy.

A Brookdale spokesperson would not comment on the pending lawsuit but did say resident health, safety and dignity are priorities. Brookdale does not tolerate any employee conduct that is inconsistent with their priorities and ensures all employees understand that.

Back in 2021, a Brookdale spokesperson told ABC10 the company has things in place like background checks and training to make sure all employees are in compliance with state rules and regulations. When asked if policies have been updated since Collier's case, a spokesperson would not answer that question.

The family did report this to the state and says the company was fined around $500.

If you are concerned one of your own family members is experiencing abuse, you can report it to the state's Adult Protective Services.

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