North Carolina Nursing Home Negligence Alleged in Wrongful Death Lawsuits of Shooting Victims’ Families

December 21, 2010, by Michael A. DeMayo

The families of two of the eight people who were shot and killed during a shooting at Pinelake Health and Rehabilitation Center on March 20009 are suing the assisted living facility for North Carolina nursing home negligence. In their North Carolina wrongful death complaints, the relatives of 78-year-old John Goldston and 98-year-old Louise DeKler claim that the Carthage assisted living facility and its owner Peak Resources did not do enough to protect residents despite the fact that the alleged shooter Robert Stewart’s estranged wife had warned the facility’s supervisors that he might come for her that day.

Killed in the North Carolina nursing home shooting were Goldston, De Kler, five other nursing home patients and a nurse. Two other people sustained injuries.

Stewart is accused of storming the assisted living facility and firing at people while searching for his wife, who was hiding in a closet. A police officer entered the nursing home and shot him. Stewart now faces eight counts of first-degree murder. If he is convicted, prosecutors would like to see him get the death penalty.

The families of DeKler and Goldston are contending that the defendants could have set up even the most basic protections, such as a surveillance system and someone to work the front desk and lock the front doors after Stewart’s wife warned that he might go to the facility. The plaintiffs say that Stewart was able to walk fully armed through the Carthage nursing home.

Nursing Home Negligence
Assisted living facilities are supposed to protect their patients from becoming the victims of North Carolina nursing home abuse, neglect, sexual assault, and other violent acts. When failure to act or implement the necessary safety measures allows such crimes to happen, the residents and their families may have grounds for a civil suit seeking damages for North Carolina personal injury or wrongful death.

Families of Victims Sue in North Carolina Nursing Home Shootings, Insurance Journal, December 17, 2010

Families of victims in Carthage nursing home shootings file suit, FayObserver, December 16, 2010

Related Web Resources:
North Carolina Nursing Home Rampage Leaves Seven Patients and One Nurse Dead and A Visitor and Police Officer with Injuries, North Carolina Injury Lawyer BLog, March 31, 2009

NC Division of Aging and Adult Services


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