SHERIDAN — A wrongful death civil case has been filed against Rehabilitation Enterprises of North Eastern Wyoming, or RENEW, in Newcastle.
The complaint, filed by wrongful death representative Laura Manuel, stated Linda Carlson died on July 12, 2015, as a result of falling on July 4, 2015.
Court documents said Carlson was blind and was in the care of RENEW for 10 years at its Newcastle facility and spent the previous 11 years at RENEW’s Sheridan facility.
Court documents said that in 2015, Carlson’s care plan included notes that she was a high risk for falling and needed assistance using the bathroom at night. She also needed to be checked every half hour during the night to make sure she had not fallen.
At around 4:30 a.m. on July 4, 2015, Carlson fell against an electric baseboard heater next to her bed. A RENEW employee heard the fall and helped her to the bathroom and back to bed.
Another RENEW employee clocked in and checked on Carlson, finding that she had a 3-inch-by-2-inch abrasion on her back and found Carlson gasping for air and coughing. The employee took Carlson to the emergency room where they discovered Carlson had pneumothorax of the upper right part of her right lung and a possible fractured rib.
She spent the next eight days at the hospital until she died on July 12, 2015, from respiratory arrest due to pneumothorax from a right rib fracture due to her fall on July 4, according to the coroner’s investigation.
The complaint said RENEW failed and refused to take corrective action to prevent or lessen the risk of Carlson’s falls and said Carlson experienced numerous falls, made several trips to the emergency room and suffered multiple broken bones during the year preceding her death.
Fourth Judicial District Court will hold a status conference on the matter on Jan. 16, followed by a motion hearing on July 11.
The court scheduled the 12-person jury trial for Oct. 29, 2018, at 9 a.m.