Family of Alzheimer's patient sues over death

McHENRY – The nephew of a woman who froze to death outside her McHenry assisted-living facility about a year ago has filed a wrongful-death lawsuit.

Genevieve Klimczak walked out a door on Feb. 12, 2012, at Fox River Retirement Center, also known as McHenry Villa, and the door locked behind her, according to the suit filed Wednesday in Cook County.

It claims Klimczak, who was 91, was allowed to wander unsupervised, so that she was able to leave her room when it was not safe to do so.

“The defendants knew, or should have known, that the plaintiff suffered from Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease and was not capable of taking care of herself,” the lawsuit says.

It claims McHenry Villa did not provide a safe environment and that the premises were not properly managed or maintained, which resulted in Klimczak’s death.

The lawsuit was filed by Klimczak’s nephew, Donald Lorenz, who served as special administrator of her estate.

As a result of Klimczak’s death, her surviving two nephews and niece said they have been “deprived of the society, companionship, love and affection of their aunt, and have experienced anguish, grief and sorrow.”

A woman who answered the phone at McHenry Villa at 3516 W. Waukegan Road said there would be no comment. The retirement community’s website says it is ideal for residents to maintain their “cherished independence.”

There is 24-hour security and an emergency call system.

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