97-year-old woman's family sues assisted living home for allowing her to 'freeze to death' while locked outside

As assisted living facility in Colorado is being sued by the family of a 97-year-old woman who "froze to death" outside of the building she was housed in despite being seen on security video "banging on the glass panes of the French doors located directly adjacent to the nurses’ station for help," Fox News reports.

Mary Jo Staub's family's lawsuit says the "beloved mother and grandmother" was trapped outside the Balfour at Lavender Farms facility in Louisville in freezing temperatures around 12:40 a.m. on Feb. 26, 2022. Her body wasn't discovered until five hours later.

"Assisted living facilities are supposed to provide protective oversight for our elderly loved ones," Elizabeth Hart, an attorney representing Staub’s family, told Fox News Digital in a statement. "The Staub family wants to ensure this doesn’t happen to any other member of this vulnerable population."

Staub was seen by a staff member a day before her death acting "confused and hallucinating" about people she said she saw outside her apartment who were "hissing" at her.

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"Sometime before 12:40 a.m. on February 26, 2022, Mary Jo wandered outside the Lavender Farms facility with the assistance of her walker and was immediately locked out," the lawsuit stated. "The temperature was well below freezing. She was locked outside wearing only pajamas, a robe, boots, and gloves."

"Once locked out, Mary Jo tried to walk around the northwest side of the building toward the nurses’ station for help. Using her walker, she trudged through the snow and climbed a snow mound," the lawsuit added. "At some point, she abandoned her walker and injured her ankle. She continued, crawling on her hands and knees 75 feet to the exit immediately adjacent to the nurses’ station. She left a blood trail in the snow marking her path of travel."

The lawsuit says that Staub "could have been seen by anyone walking inside the facility near or past the glass-paned French doors adjacent to the vacant nurses’ station," but nobody was in that area "between 12:18 a.m. and 5:51 a.m." and "no one at Lavender Farms was monitoring the security cameras that night."

Temperatures in the area were around 15 degrees that night.

In a statement, Elaine McManis, the director of its Health Facilities and Emergency Medical Services Division, said that facility leadership are "saddened by this tragic event that never should have happened."

"As soon as we were notified, we sent experts to the facility to investigate what occurred and ensure the safety of other residents," the statement added. "Where we found deficiencies, we required the facility to quickly make changes, and closely monitored the facility until it completed all corrective actions."

Read the full report over at Fox News.