TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) – The State of Indiana has filed for an injunction against Bethesda Gardens in Vigo County after the recent death of a resident.
The complaint and application for a preliminary and permanent injunction was filed Tuesday in Vigo County Superior Court. In it, the State says it received a complaint that Bethesda Gardens was providing services outside the legal limitations of an unlicensed assisted living facility.
The State of Indiana, Vigo County, and Indiana State Department of Health are named as petitioners, represented by the Indiana Attorney General's Office.
The State says it received this complaint after the death of Veronica Hofman, who was a memory care resident. The Vigo County Coroner said preliminary autopsy reports showed she died of hypothermia.
An employee reported finding Hofman on the ground outside of the facility in the early morning hours of January 26, 2019. The Vigo County Sheriff said when investigators visited the facility, they found courtyard alarms were not working or had been turned down. According to an employee, surveillance cameras were also not working at the time due to construction.
According to the complaint, Bethesda Gardens is an unlicensed assisted living facility but carries out duties that only licensed health facilities can legally perform. The complaint states staff members offered “full assist bathing,” “medication administration and storage,” and “oxygen tank flow control” services.
The State claims the public’s interest would be served by prohibiting Bethesda Gardens from continuing to operate as an unlicensed health facility, which would, in turn, protect residents from Bethesda Garden’s current operations.
The Vice President of Sales and Marketing of Bethesday Senior Living Communities sent News 10 a statement Thursday morning, "Bethesda Gardens Terre Haute has consulted with the Indiana State Department of Health. We are following all their recommendations regarding resident health and safety. Due to the ongoing investigation, we are not able to comment further on this matter."