By Stephanie Ballesteros

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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – A family is suing an assisted living center in Philadelphia after they claim the facility’s negligence resulted in their loved one’s death. The lawsuit claims the 78-year-old resident, who was visually impaired and suffered from dementia, was able to leave the facility unsupervised and was killed after falling approximately 15 feet onto a sidewalk.

The incident happened July 2018 at the Wesley Enhanced Living at Stapeley, located in the city’s Germantown section. According to the lawsuit, Barbara Jones-Davis opened an unguarded and unlocked door on the side of the facility and wandered outside alone. She was allegedly outside for 23 minutes until she walked to the edge of the property and fell almost two stories onto the sidewalk.

The door Jones-Davis used to exit allegedly had an alarm, but surveillance video shows no one from the facility responded to the alarm for 25 minutes, the suit claims. An employee allegedly later closed the door without inspecting the property for any residents who may have left.

Jones-Davis was found alive by a passerby and was taken to the hospital where she later died.

The facility allegedly learned of the incident about an hour later when a nurse was notified.

“Wesley Enhanced Living at Stapeley and its security contractor, U.S. Security Associates, were both negligent and grossly negligent for failing to put the appropriate systems, processes, and precautions in place to prevent such an event from happening, especially where similar instances involving unsupervised residents who wandered from the facility had occurred previous to this tragedy,” alleges the suit.

Officials with the Pennsylvania Department of Health and Human Services say there have been three recent incidents where residents have left the facility unsupervised, according to the lawsuit.

The facility provided the following statement:

“At Wesley Enhanced Living, we are committed to the safety and wellbeing of our residents and staff.  We remain deeply saddened by this resident’s passing, and we have expressed our condolences to her family.  Out of respect for the family, and because this is a legal matter, we cannot provide additional details.” – Wesley Enhanced Living

Stephanie Ballesteros