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Kansas Widow Sues Nursing Home After Husband Fatally Drinks Dishwasher Soap

Attorney-Partner Matt Birch of Shamberg, Johnson & Bergman, CHTD is representing a widow in a wrongful death lawsuit after her husband passed away in the care of Sunrise Assisted Living, a nursing home in Lenexa, Kansas. Carolyn Wisecarver came to our law firm after her husband mistakenly drank dishwasher liquid that he thought was cranberry juice, which resulted in fatal poisoning.

Elmer Wisecarver, who was 95, had an unspecified form of dementia that affected his memory, mental stability, and behavior. He was placed into the nursing home’s secured memory care unit with the understanding that he requires specialized care and attention due to his dementia.

However, on November 14th, 2021, the attention that Elmer required seems to have been set aside, according to the lawsuit. On that day, an employee working on a defective soap dispenser placed a cup of sodium hydroxide detergent into a cup and left it sitting in the kitchen unattended. Elmer then entered the kitchen with no staff around to watch or assist him. Thinking the red detergent was cranberry juice that had been left out for resident consumption, he drank it.

After Elmer cried out for help, an attendant discovered what happened. He was taken to a nearby hospital with severe esophageal burns and other poisoning symptoms, where he passed away.

In the lawsuit managed by Attorney Birch, it is argued that the nursing home failed in its duty to supervise Elmer, who was registered with the center as a dementia patient. It also accuses the nursing home of failing to train its staff members on the proper methods of dangerous chemicals handling and storage. Attorney Birch is seeking more than $75,000 for Mrs. Wisecarver and her family, citing Elmer’s pain and suffering, the medical costs of his final treatments, and other damages.

For more information about this developing story, you can click here to view a full article from The Kansas City Star. If you want to know more about Attorney Birch and the legal work we do at Shamberg, Johnson & Bergman, CHTD, please feel free to contact our firm online at any time.