HAZEL GREEN, Ala. (WHNT) - Families of two patients at an assisted living facility in Hazel Green have filed a civil lawsuit against the owner.
The two families claim a former employee abused their loved ones, and are seeking a jury trial and monetary damages.
Attorney Michael Timberlake filed the lawsuit in Madison County Circuit Court on Tuesday. He represents two patients and their children. The 12 page filing details a stunning series of physical and emotional abuse allegations against the former patients, including claims that a former Agape staff member slapped, pinched, pushed and manhandled patients from 2011 through September 2012.
The lawsuit states that family members of the parents were never notified after their injuries were discovered. It also claims that law enforcement was left in the dark for several months after the alleged incidents reportedly occurred.
"It was shocking, and the families were shocked," said Timberlake, who called the failure to report especially disturbing. "The families trusted this facility to take care of their patients and they didn't...They [Agape Village] failed to act on this, and allowed it to essentially go on for six months or so before they reported it...Not only should they have known about it, they actually did know about it, and they didn't take action to correct the situation."
The lawsuit names Great Oaks Healthcare Management, LLC, the parent company of Agape Village Memory Care, located at 372 Jimmy Fisk Road in Hazel Green. Representatives with Great Oaks and Agape Village did not respond to our request for an interview.
Agape Village's operating license remains on probation, part of an agreement the facility recently made with the Alabama Department of Health. The caretaker at the center of the allegations has since been dismissed. The manager who oversaw Agape Village at the time is also no longer an employee there.