Assisted living resident claims worker stole $100K in cash and jewelry

By Michelle Keahey, East Texas Bureau | Dec 17, 2012

SHERMAN - A resident of an assisted living community in Plano has filed a lawsuit claiming one of the workers stole approximately $100,000 in cash and jewelry from her room.

Vennie Steelman filed suit against Sunrise Senior Living Management Inc. on Nov. 12 in the Collin County District Court. The defendant removed the case to the Eastern District of Texas, Sherman Division on Dec. 14.

Steelman is resident of a Sunrise Senior Living community in Plano. According to the suit, in 2011, Steelman’s family noticed that cash was missing from their mother and informed a Sunrise representative.  The thefts did not stop until the family set up a camera in their mother’s room and finally caught the Sunrise employee in the act, the suit claims.

According to the lawsuit, the family again tried to report the theft, but nothing was done.

“Sunrise had put no effective measures in place to monitor, detect or deter, the fact that their employees could enter, steal from and exit residents’ apartments daily,” the lawsuit states.

The defendant is accused of negligence, negligent supervision and gross negligence by failing to take reasonable precautions and failing to have reasonable policies to protect its residents, failing to monitor access to residents rooms, failing to provide adequate employee training and deterrents to employee theft of elderly residents, breaching its legal duty to Steelman by failing to provide reasonable security to its residents, and by failing to properly respond, notify police or take reasonable measures once Defendant was on notice that theft was occurring on its property.

The family states that Steelman lost approximately $100,000 in cash, jewelry and personal items.

The plaintiff is seeking an award of damages, exemplary damages, court costs, attorney’s fees, and interest.

Steelman is represented by J. Brantley Saunders of Saunders & Walsh in McKinney.

Case No. 4:12-cv-00722

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