The family of Sam Davis is suing a McKeesport nursing home over allegations of negligence and wrongful death.
A nursing home in McKeesport is facing a lawsuit filed by the family of a former Pittsburgh Steelers offensive lineman, Samuel R. Davis over allegations of wrongful death and negligence. According to the lawsuit, which was filed in Allegheny County Common Pleas Court by Davis’ children, Samantha, Dorothy, Ruel, Tammi, and Vanessa Davis, Davis died back on September 10, 2019…“his body was found at the bottom of a set of private stairs at New Life Personal Care Home.” Davis moved to the nursing home in 2000.
Davis was well known in the football arena and “played guard for the Steelers’ Super Bowl teams in the 1970s and was a team captain.” He stuck with the team for 15 years before retiring in 1982.
When commenting on the suit, Jim Cole, the manager at the nursing home, said, “All I know is he had a heart attack…That’s what’s on the death certificate.”
What allegedly happened, though? Well, it all began in 1991 when Davis sustained a head injury that only worsened over time. As a result of the injury, he suffered “memory impairment, declining cognitive abilities, seizures, occipital lobe blindness, as well as personality changes, slowed speech and gait,” the suit notes. To make matters worse, Davis was diagnosed with dementia in 1994, and in 2000 he moved into New Life nursing home.
Despite the fact that Davis’ ability to see and walk had declined dramatically over the years, the “nursing home still allowed him to reside on the second floor of the facility with access to a private staircase that led to an outside exit,” according to the suit. The lawsuit further states that the morning of his death, “Davis did not appear for breakfast, and staff began to search for him…By 8 a.m., they called police, who also began to look for him.” At around 8:30 p.m., he was “found dead at the bottom of the private staircase.”
The suit states:
“During the entire 14-hour time that Sam was missing, the defendant facility failed to discover Sam’s body in this stairwell.”
As a result, the suit argues that “Davis was alive and could have been saved after the fall were it not for the delay in finding him.” Additionally, the family argues the facility was negligent because it failed to block off the stairwell and “failed to do an adequate search for him.” At the moment, the family is seeking damages under the Pennsylvania Wrongful Death Act for funeral expenses and loss of companionship.