The family of an 80-year-old Maryland man who died after wandering away from a picnic announced Thursday it is suing his former assisted living facility.
Lubin Phipps, of Upper Marlboro, went missing after a picnic held by Woodmore House Assisted Living at Watkins Regional Park in September 2015. His body was found at the park almost a month later, and police said he died of hypothermia.
"Every day I think about him suffering, being out there alone," said Phipps' daughter Michelle Phipps. "I try to think about the positive things about him just to keep me going every day."
Phipps' family is suing Woodmore House Assisted Living, We Care Adult Services and Quality Connection Transportation for neglect and wrongful death.
"Inexcusable. Those in charge of his supervision lost it. We're not talking about luggage in an airport. We're talking about a human being in a park," the family's attorney, Salvatore Zambri, said.
The family said Phipps suffered "extreme physical pain" and "severe mental anguish." They are seeking unspecified damages of more than $75,000.
The Maryland Department of Health and Hygiene investigated Phipps’ disappearance and death, and its Office of Health Care Quality fined We Care Adult Services $7,500. The office will monitor We Care, according to Communications Director Christopher Garrett.
Woodmore House Assisted Living is now under a plan of correction related to an assault between residents in August 2015, Garrett said. The victim went to the hospital and eventually died, according to Garrett.
We Care is the care provider for the residents at Woodmore House. They have the same owner.