·  Legal News, Analysis, & Commentary

Lawsuits & Litigation

Nursing Home Alligator Attack Results in Wrongful Death Lawsuit

— June 23, 2017

It’s always hard to lose a loved one, but even harder when a loved one dies unexpectedly, and in a tragic manner. Unfortunately, that is what happened to a 90-year-old grandmother after wandering away from her senior home last July. What happened, exactly? Well, she was attacked and “dismembered” by an alligator, and now her family has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the senior living facility, and is “seeking damages determined by a jury, but in excess of $10,000.

The accident itself occurred at the Brookdale Senior Living center back on July 27, 2016. After reports that some of the living center staff members couldn’t find 90-year-old resident Bonnie Walker, the poor woman’s relatives began aiding in the search. According to family members, Walker “had been missing for seven hours” at that time.

Image of the Brookdale Senior Living Center logo
Brookdale Senior Living Center Logo; Image Courtesy of Yext,

After searching the area for the older woman, granddaughter Stephanie Walker Weaver found her grandmother’s remains in a “retention pond behind the nursing home, with multiple sharp and blunt force injuries consistent with wounds sustained during alligator attacks.” Understandably, she was “shocked and horrified to find the remains of her grandmother’s body floating in the pond where it had been dismembered by an alligator.”

But how did the attack happen? How did the nursing home staff lose track of a patient for seven hours? Certainly, when a family trusts a loved one in the care of a nursing home, they do so with the expectation that their loved one will be cared for and looked after, not attacked by an alligator. Well, after examining the accident scene, police said “they think Walker slipped down an embankment and fell into the pond, and then the gator attacked her.”

Despite the fact that the nursing home staff “reportedly contacted Bonnie’s family members before they began searching for her,” the lawsuit, filed specifically by the granddaughter Stephanie, alleges that staff members failed to properly monitor the older woman, “who reportedly had a history of sleepwalking.” The lawsuit also alleges that, in addition to failing to properly monitor Walker, the staff forgot “to search her room.”

For now, a number of people have been named in the lawsuit, including the “center’s owner, HBP Leaseco, and facility administrator Terri Robinson,” along with “unnamed employees and businesses.

But this isn’t the first lawsuit filed against the facility as of late. In fact, it’s the third lawsuit in seven months against the nursing home. In response to this latest round of allegations, “Brookdale has yet to comment publicly on the matter.


Family Goes After Nursing Home After Grandma’s Killed by Gator


Join the conversation!