CCRC reaches $1.5 million settlement in case of resident smothered to death by staff member

Share this article:
Jury hands down $14 million negligent care verdict to nursing homes
Jury hands down $14 million negligent care verdict to nursing homes

A South Carolina continuing care retirement community has entered into a $1.5 million civil settlement in the case of a resident who was murdered by a staff member.

The crime occurred in 2011 at Park Pointe Village in Rock Hill, SC. Staff member Braquette Wykina Walton smothered 82-year-old assisted living resident Pauline Cook in her sleep, according to news reports. Shortly before her death, Cook had told Park Pointe staff that Walton was stealing checks from her, court documents state.

A criminal case led to Walton's conviction; she was sentenced to life in prison in November 2012, according to The Associated Press.

A separate, civil wrongful death suit led to the recent settlement. Park Pointe spokesman Michael Smith confirmed the settlement to McKnight's but said the terms are confidential. However, local newspaper The Herald reported that is a $1.5 million payout, with the majority going to Cook's daughter.

Cook was a “popular, beloved member of Park Pointe Village,” and the community extends “thoughts and prayers” to her family, Smith said.

Like all staff members, Walton underwent a comprehensive background check, and it did not raise any concerns, Smith told McKnight's. He emphasized that the CCRC “always has taken significant actions to ensure that our standards of safety are being met,” including 24/7 security and surveillance, a partnership with an external security company, and other confidential measures.

The crime led the coroner's office in York County to do more robust investigations of nursing home and assisted living deaths, according to the Herald.

Park Pointe Village is owned by Pennsylvania-based ACTS Retirement-Life Communities.

Share this article:

More in News

Assisted living communities continue to make a terrible first impression on prospective customers, university program finds

Assisted living communities continue to make a terrible ...

Assisted living communities consistently do not make a good first impression with prospective customers, and they haven't improved this skill set in the last decade, according to data from George ...

Latecomers to hospice frequently are male, have certain cancers, Penn researchers find

Men and patients with certain types of cancer are among those less likely to enroll in hospice, suggesting that healthcare providers should focus on presenting these groups with all their end-of-life care options, according to newly published findings.

Nursing homes should think twice before using a well-known tool for diagnosing ...

A familiar tool for diagnosing depression in dementia patients might not be very effective in the nursing home setting, according to findings recently published in The American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry.