Apartment staff failed to check on resident for weeks before he was found dead, lawsuit says

The Oregonian – January 2013

The sister of a schizophrenic man is suing a Wilsonville low-income apartment facility and its management after she says staffers ignored repeated requests to check on him for nearly three weeks. By the time they did, the suit says, he was dead.

In a $450,000 lawsuit filed earlier this month in Clackamas County Circuit Court, Altha Maier contends she tried contacting her 60-year-old brother Patrick Schreiber at Renaissance Court between Dec. 20, 2012, and Jan. 8, 2013, but was refused help by the on-site staff.

Maier was her brother’s emergency contact and had been authorized access to information regarding Schreiber’s mental health, housing and basic needs, the lawsuit said.

Staff and emergency responders went into Schreiber’s apartment on Jan. 8 and found him dead “of unidentified causes,” the lawsuit said. The Oregon State Medical Examiner’s Office said Friday it could not find a record of Schreiber’s cause of death.

The apartment complex at 11520 S.W. Zurich St. has 21 units with all but one dedicated for low-income assisted living for people with disabilities. The lawsuit claims Renaissance Court, Inc., Cascade Management Group, Cascade Behavioral Healthcare Inc. and Catholic Charities were negligent in not checking on Schreiber in a timely manner, failing to notice his absence, not notifying police more quickly and not having procedures to learn of residents’ medical and emergency needs.

Tiffany Roderick, a Cascade Management Group spokeswoman, declined to comment on behalf of the company and cited the ongoing litigation.