Family of 100-Year-Old Woman Files Massachusetts Wrongful Death Lawsuit Against Dartmouth Nursing Home and Roommate Charged with Her Murder

Eight months after 100-year-old Elizabeth Barrow was allegedly strangled to death by her 98-year-old roommate at a Dartmouth assisted living facility, her family has filed a Massachusetts wrongful death lawsuit. The 54-count civil complaint accuses Brandon Woods of Dartmouth, its executive director Scott Picone, and a number of staffers of Massachusetts nursing home negligence. Barrow’s family is also seeking damages from her roommate, Laura Lundquist.

Barrow was found dead in her ed on the morning of September 24. There was a plastic bag around her head.

Autopsy findings showed that Barrow sustained blunt force trauma to her chest, left leg, skull, and arms and that the cause of her death was strangulation via asphyxiation. The Dartmouth, Massachusetts nursing home neglect lawsuit accuses the assisted living facility and its employees of failing to provide Barrow with a safe environment and that, as a result, she suffered until she died.

Lundquist, who is charged with second-degree murder in Barrow’s death is likely the oldest murder defendant in Massachusetts. Police say that the 98-year-old allegedly killed her roommate because she was jealous that Barrow had a better window view and received more visitors. Lundquist is diagnosed with dementia and paranoia.

Prior to Barrow’s murder, her son, Scott, had requested that the nursing home separate the women because Lundquist had allegedly been harassing the older woman for weeks. However, Picone says that the assisted living facility offered Barrow the opportunity to change rooms twice but she refused. He says the two women behaved as if they were “sisters” and ate lunch and walked together.

Massachusetts Nursing Home Violence
Assisted living facilities must make sure that patients are kept safe. This means protecting them from Boston nursing home abuse, neglect, and patient violence. Unfortunately, it is no longer surprising news to hear about a resident assaulting, raping, or killing another patient. If a resident has a history of violence or is suffering from a mental illness that could make him/her prone to injuring or killing another patient, the assisted living facility must provide proper supervision or, if necessary, keep the patient separated from others, so that no one gets hurt or dies.

Slain 100-year-old woman’s family files wrongful-death lawsuit against Brandon Woods of Dartmouth, SouthCoastToday, May 29, 2010
Massachusetts Nursing Home Violence: 98-Year-Old Dartmouth Nursing Resident Indicted for 100-Year-Old Roommate’s Homicide, Boston Injury Lawyer, December 15, 2010
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Brandon Woods of Dartmouth

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