SAN ANTONIO – A New York woman has filed a lawsuit against her father’s San Antonio retirement home, alleging that she has been prevented from visiting her father based on unfair and illegal restrictions.
Juliette Fairley filed her complaint in May in the San Antonio Division of the Western District of Texas against Trisun Healthcare, which operates the Lakeside Assisted Living and Memory Care in San Antonio. She is representing herself.
According to her complaint, her father James Fairley moved into Lakeside in early December 2014. Since becoming a resident at the retirement home, she alleges her father has been denied opportunities to visit freely with his daughter and friends and has been denied nutritious meals.
“Although I am not an attorney, my understanding is that it is unconstitutional for a state to endorse or provide for lower or less access, less protections or lower standards, such as restricting visitation in a retirement home, adding a cost burden to visiting in a retirement home, denying edible and nutritious food to a retirement home resident, denying medical care through false documents and limiting hygiene care, because it runs afoul of the federal statutory scheme and federal constitution,” Juliette Fairley told The Record in an email.
According to the complaint, Fairley is limited to two four-hour visits with her father per month, despite a nurse’s report asserting that James would benefit from more visits. Furthermore, those visits must be in the presence of a court-appointed monitor at a cost to Fairley of $50 per visit.
Fairley argues in her complaint, however, that “Resident Rights of the Federal Code of Regulations… state that immediate family or other relatives are not subject to visiting hour limitations or other restrictions not imposed by the resident” and that the code “expressly states that a long-term care resident has the right to visits from immediate family and other relatives and the facility must provide immediate access if the resident so requests. James repeatedly invites Juliette to visit.”
Fairley’s complaint also details her intimidation by and fear of the court-appointed monitor, who has allegedly threatened to terminate her visits with her father multiple times. When she tried to bring a friend along for a visit with her father’s consent to prevent being alone with the monitor, Lakeside allegedly denied her entrance to the facility.
Fairley further alleges that her father is being denied fresh, healthy food. According to the complaint, Lakeside has classified James as hospice because they claim he has no appetite and does not eat the meals provided to him, but Fairley argues that he has complained to her of hunger, and when served freshly-prepared meals during visits with a guest, he eats his entire meal.
Instead, “Despite James’ weight loss and diagnosis of malnourishment by Dr. Devagiri,” reads the complaint, “Plaintiff alleges and would prove that Lakeside, as recently as March 9, 2017, denied James nutritious and edible food that he wanted to eat while visiting with plaintiff and offered instead donuts despite medical professionals having recommended that James maintain a low-sugar diet due to cavities, rotting teeth and the risk of diabetes.”
No court date has yet been set, but Judge John Primomo, who made headlines in November for telling new U.S. citizens to accept Donald Trump as president or leave the country, has been assigned to the case.
“Initially, I was concerned when it appeared on the docket that Judge Primomo had been assigned to the case,” said Fairley. “But the attorneys I consulted with all said Judge Primomo is a good and fair judge.”
Fairley hopes to receive a fair trial.
“In my biological father’s study in the house that he raised me in outside of Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, there hung on the wall a huge scroll of the U.S. Constitution,” she said. “It just so happens that my biological father, James Fairley, was among the soldiers who fought for the U.S. Constitution and the civil rights that American citizens enjoy today. He is an Air Force veteran of three foreign wars (Korea, World War II and Vietnam). My hope is that Judge Primomo will uphold my father’s family rights, civil rights, disability rights and constitutional rights as well as my implied right as a military veteran’s daughter to visit safely and freely with him in person.”