March 29, 2022

On January 28, 2022, a federal jury in Billings, Montana reached a verdict against Canyon Creek Memory Care of Billings, an assisted living memory care facility, in the amount of $310,000, for the death of a 73-year-old man who died five days after being beaten by another patient. The decedent had been at the memory care facility for only four days when the fatal beating took place in December 2018. The former bank president suffered a hematoma and skull fracture that proved fatal.

The widow’s Montana wrongful death lawsuit alleged that Canyon Creek Memory Care of Billings negligently failed to properly assess the other resident when he was admitted to the facility in October 2018. Montana law requires the assessment of prospective residents to determine if they pose a risk of danger to other residents: patients who are prone to violence are prohibited from being admitted to private care homes, such as Canyon Creek Memory Care of Billings. The widow’s Montana lawsuit alleged that had the memory care facility properly completed the assessment on her husband’s attacker, it would have discovered the man’s history in New Mexico of prior violence when he attacked a staff member at another facility and was refused readmittance to multiple other facilities in 2018.

The Montana federal jury awarded the widow $310,000 in damages for her husband’s death. Trial testimony established that her husband was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia in 2017, seventeen years after retiring from the bank. The family took care of him after the diagnosis while his condition continued to decline until more formal care became necessary. Canyon Creek Memory Care of Billings had promised the family that it was an appropriate memory care facility that could meet the needs of their patriarch.

Canyon Creek Memory Care of Billings denied that it failed to properly assess the other resident and further alleged that the other resident was threatened by the decedent and was defending himself when he pushed the decedent, who fell and struck his head.

The widow acknowledged that Canyon Creek Memory Care of Billings had made several settlement offers in excess of the amount that the Montana federal jury awarded but stated that she rejected the settlement offers in order to shine a light on the facility and what had been allowed to happen to her husband. She stated after the verdict, “It was never about the money. They don’t give people the care they need. All elderly people deserve the right to care. We were very thrilled to get the verdict.”

Canyon Creek Memory Care of Billings is owned by Olympia, Washington based Koelsch Communities which owns 42 facilities in eight different states.


If you or a loved one suffered harm while a resident of an assisted living facility in Montana or in another U.S. state due to assisted living facility abuse, assisted living facility neglect, assisted living facility negligence, or the failure to provide appropriate care for a vulnerable adult, you should promptly find an assisted living facility claim lawyer in Montana (Montana medical malpractice lawyer) or in your state who may investigate your assisted living facility claim for you and file an assisted living negligence claim on your behalf or behalf of your loved one, if appropriate.

Visit our website to be connected with medical malpractice attorneys (assisted living claim attorneys) in your U.S. state who may assist you with your assisted living claim, or call us toll-free in the United States at 800-295-3959.

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