A lawsuit filed is Essex Superior Thursday accuses nursing homes in Andover and Ayer, as well as their parent company, of negligence that resulted in the death of a 96-year-old woman.

The estate of Viola Thayer Whittemore is seeking unspecified damages from Academy Manor in Andover, Apple Valley Center in Ayer and Pennsylvania-based Genesis Healthcare LLC, which owns both nursing homes. The wrongful death lawsuit was filed by Diana W. Coleman, Whittemore’s daughter and the estate’s representative.

Andover News asked Academy Manor and Genesis Healthcare for comment on Thursday and will update this story if they get back to us.

Whittermore was injured in a fall on Aug. 27 fall at the Ayer nursing home and died following a second at Academy Manor in Andover on Sept. 17, 2020. The lawsuit says staff at both facilities assessed Whittemore as a fall risk when she was admitted and ordered her to have a bed and chair alarm at all times. The lawsuit claims staff did not secure her to her bed and failed to properly set the chair and bed alarm. It also alleges the facilities left Whittermore unattended and failed to properly train staff on the use of the alarm.

The defendants were “grossly negligent for leaving [Whittemore] unattended, unsupervised, causing her to fall, resulting in death,” the 10-count complaint said. As a result, Whittemore “suffered bodily injuries and conscious pain and suffering.”

Photo: GroupHomesOnline