Woman accuses Sunrise Assisted Living of neglecting JoCo


Carolyn Wisecarver of Johnson County sued Sunrise Assisted Living of Lenexa alleging that her husband, Elmer “Joe” Wisecarver, died after he mistakenly drank dishwashing detergent thinking it was cranberry juice in November 2021 This Google Maps Street View image is from 2018.

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A widow has sued Sunrise Assisted Living of Lenexa alleging her husband died after he mistakenly drank dishwasher liquid thinking it was cranberry juice, according to court documents.

Carolyn Wisecarver filed the wrongful death lawsuit this week in Johnson County District Court against Sunrise Senior Living Services Inc. and Sunrise Senior Living Management Inc., which operates Lenexa Sunrise Senior Living at 15055 West 87th Street Parkway.

A spokesperson for the head office of Sunrise Senior Living in McLean, Virginia, said they were unable to comment on the lawsuit at this time.

Wisecarver’s husband, Elmer “Joe” Wisecarver, moved into the Secure Memory Care Unit at Sunrise Senior Living’s Lenexa location on December 31, 2020. He was in his mid-90s and suffered from unspecified dementia with impaired behavior and altered mental status. , depending on the suit.

He was known to be independently mobile and had a wandering behavior. He also liked to drink cranberry juice, which was available for residents to help themselves to in the kitchen, Wisecarver said in the suit.

On November 14, 2021, the dishwasher in the memory care unit was believed to be incorrectly dispensing dishwashing liquid. An employee poured detergent containing sodium hydroxide into a cup with the intention of manually adding it to the dishwasher, according to the suit.

Before doing so, the employee went to the bathroom and left the mug unattended and unsecured in the kitchen, Wisecarver claims.

Her husband walked into the kitchen alone and after seeing the cup of red-colored liquid, he drank it thinking it was cranberry juice, the suit said.

A staff member responded when she heard him scream after drinking the liquid. He took her into the kitchen and waved at the cup and said, “I drank this and I’m going to die,” according to the costume.

He was taken to AdventHealth Shawnee Mission Hospital where he died after drinking dish soap, according to the suit. He died on November 14, 2021, at the age of 95, according to his obituary.

Prior to his death, he suffered severe burns to his esophagus, disfigurement, mental anguish and other pain, according to the lawsuit. He also incurred medical expenses.

The lawsuit alleges, among other things, that the nursing home failed to train its staff to supervise dementia patients and failed to put in place appropriate policies for storing toxic chemicals and protecting patients from dementia. accidental ingestion of chemicals.

The lawsuit seeks more than $75,000 in damages for his widow and other heirs.

This story was originally published July 1, 2022 11:16 a.m.

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Robert A. Cronkleton rises very early in the morning to bring readers the latest on crime, transportation and dawn weather. He has been with The Star since 1987 and now contributes to data communications and video editing. He holds a Bachelor of Arts from Rockhurst College, where he studied Communications and Computer Science.

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