Care center sued for $4.7M after patient leaves, drowns

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A woman is suing a memory care center outside Portland, Oregon, after her husband left the facility unknown to staff and drowned in a creek.

Toufik “Tom” Tanous, 79, suffered from severe memory loss and had tried to leave at least twice before disappearing from the Hawthorne House care facility in Forest Grove around 8 p.m. on April 27, 2021, according to the lawsuit and a police report.

Despite a large-scale search, his body was pulled from Gales Creek two days later.

The wrongful death suit, filed Tuesday in Multnomah County Circuit Court, seeks $4.7 million in damages from Caring Places Management LLC, the operator of Hawthorne House and a nearby assisted facility, Forest Grove Beehive, as well as its administrator, Charity Jammeh, The Oregonian/OregonLive reported.

In the week before Tanous’ flight, officers responded to 12 calls at the Hawthorne House for assaults, behavioral health incidents and missing persons, Officer Samuel Younce wrote in the police report.

A lawyer for Caring Places Management declined to comment on the allegations, citing patient privacy.

“Our residents are our family, and our staff grieve for this loss,” said the attorney, Logan Pratt.

The Hawthorne House and Forest Grove Beehive have been fined seven times in the past few years for violations, according to Oregon Department of Human Services records.