Family alleges long-term care facility banned them due to social media posts, files lawsuit

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Family members of a Texas long-term care resident have sued the facility where she lives, claiming they were banned from visiting due to their social media posts, according to a publication covering legal proceedings in the state. 

Members of the Peterson family were told to leave the premises when they arrived at Silverado Senior Living in Sugar Land on July 27, the Southeast Texas Record reported. Workers at the facility allegedly said that the Peterson children could only see their mother if they removed from the Internet all social media content depicting their mother or any other resident.

The plaintiffs say that they did not post anything “exploitive or invasive” and did not violate the privacy rights of residents, according to the legal complaint. They claim that Silverado was acting in a “retaliatory” manner, because the Petersons had communicated “matters of general public concern.”

However, Silverado characterizes the situation as a family conflict involving the resident's guardian or power of attorney (POA).

"At the heart of this issue is a legal dispute between members of a resident's family," the company stated in an email to McKnight's. "While this personal family situation unfolds, we will continue to respect this resident's POA as the primary decision maker regarding the care their loved one receives." 

Silverado noted that it does not have set visiting hours, and that family can visit loved ones at any time. The provider asks that visitors "respect the privacy of each resident both inside and outside of the community."

The Petersons say they still are not able to enter the facility, and argue that Silverado violated their visitation rights and caused physical and mental harm, including loss of sleep and pain and suffering. They are seeking nominal and actual damages, exemplary or punitive damages, and other relief.

The Sugar Land assisted living facility specializes in memory care, according to its website.