Family sues Lutheran Senior Services at Hidden Lake in North County for wrongful death.

Jack Schmitz of Lake Havasu City, AZ, and his sister, Jeanne James of Dana Point, CA, are suing Lutheran Senior Services in St. Louis County court for wrongful death, breach of contract and premises liability in connection with the 2009 death of their father Daniel Schmitz, a resident of The Gables at Hidden Lake in north St. Louis County.

According to court documents, the siblings allege that Daniel Schmitz passed away four days before his 80th birthday as the result of a fall in his independent living residence at 1728 Catherine Court in North County.

On either May 7 or May 8, 2009 Daniel Schmitz is alleged to have fallen at his residence and was unable to get off the floor, use the emergency alert cord in his residence, or notify a staff member of his need for assistance.

As a result, Schmitz laid on his backside for two or three days before Hidden Lake security found the elderly man on the floor after being alerted by Jack Schmitz and his sister, who had become concerned after not being able to reach their father.

Daniel Schmitz was taken to Christian Northeast Hospital; he had been injured in the fall.

Jack Schmitz and his sister claimed that Lutheran Senior Services failed to provide proper care; did not notice that Schmitz hadn’t signed up for meals; did not provide an emergency call system; and didn’t provide adequate training to its housekeeping staff to ensure Schmitz’s emergency alert cord was accessible to him.

All of these alleged failures are claimed by the siblings to have been supposedly addressed in a independent living resident handbook produced by the agency for The Gables at Hidden Lake residents and family.

David Zevan and Stephen C. Buser are representing Schmitz and James while Lawrence R. Smith and Stephen J. Fields are representing Lutheran Senior Services.