OSSIPEE — The family of a missing Alzheimer’s and dementia patient who went missing last year is suing the assisted living facility he was reported missing from last year.
On Sept. 10, 2018, at around 4:06 p.m., Dwain “Dewey” Poulin, 84, was reported missing from his assisted living residence at Tamworth Community Living Inc, Tamworth at 22 Mays Way in Tamworth.
Poulin was known to suffer from dementia/Alzheimer’s disease. He was last seen wearing a blue plaid shirt, blue jeans, black sneakers and a baseball cap that says “NH State Bird” with a picture of a mosquito.
On Sept. 10, Poulin’s daughters, Cheryl Poulin of Saco, Maine and Kim Cullins of Tamworth, filed suit through their attorneys, Benjamin Gideon and Dov Sacks of the law firm of Berman & Simmons P.A. of Lewiston, Maine.
The lawsuit is a 10-page complaint and demand for jury trial.
“This is a negligence and breach of contract action for damages within the jurisdiction of this court arising out of the failure, during the period of Nov. 5, 2016-Sept. 10, 2018, of Defendant Tamworth Community Living Inc. to adequately supervise Dwain Poulin (“Mr. Poulin”), a known sufferer of Alzheimer’s dementia, and to reasonably guard against the well-known risk of elopement, resulting in Mr. Poulin’s Sept. 10, 2018, elopement from which he has never been found to this day.”
The lawsuit says Poulin was first admitted on April 25, 2014, because of a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease. In the years since, the facility’s management had reported that Poulin was becoming increasingly confused.
Around noon on May 9, 2018, Poulin went missing from the facility, which then sought help from the Tamworth Police, Carroll County Sheriff’s Office and New Hampshire Fish and Game. The Tamworth Fire Department found Poulin and returned him at about 5:30 p.m.
Following that incident, the sisters provided the defendant with a GPS tracker but the Tamworth Community Living didn’t think it “met their expectations.” The suit says the facility’s management didn’t find an alternative.
Tamworth Community Living Inc. describes itself on its website, tamworthliving.com.
“Tamworth Community Living is a 15-bed facility with 24/7 on-site staff who are LNA’s, experienced caregivers ensuring every resident is properly cared for,” states the site. “Tamworth Community Living activities are governed by the function level of the individual. All residents are encouraged to maintain the highest level possible. Activities include puzzles, TV, Weekly Zumba games, Monthly Church service, walks, etc.”
Administrator Jacqueline Leavitt-Grace, reached Thursday, had no comment.
The plaintiffs lawsuit claims negligence, breach of contract and Consumer Protection Act violation and asks for a court judgement against the Tamworth Community Living for the following:
• An amount of money sufficient to compensate for Dwain Poulin’s personal injuries, plus interest and costs.
• An amount of money, computed on a daily basis, representing the difference between the amount of consideration paid by or on behalf of Poulin to the company for occupancy, board, comfort, safety and care and the actual value of the services provided by it, plus interest and costs.
• An amount of money, computed on a daily basis, representing the difference between the value of the services which the Tamworth Community Living represented it would provide to Poulin and the value of the services it actually provided, plus interest and costs.
• An amount of money equal to three times the actual loss, plus reasonable attorneys’ fees, plus interest and costs.