Family accuses Shell Point retirement community of negligence

Reporter: Emma Heaton Writer: Paul Dolan
Published: Updated:

A woman under the care of a retired living community dies alone without food, water, and no clear explanation as to why.

The family of the 98-year-old says Shell Point failed to evacuate her during Hurricane Ian.

The lawsuit claims management at Shell Point left 98-year-old Orna Mikes alone to face Hurricane Ian alone, and that’s negligence. The staff knew Mikes had diminished capacity, and there she was, braving the ferocious Category 4 storm alone.

Mikes didn’t have power, a phone, food, or water, and nobody found her until five days after Ian passed.

Shell Point Retirement Community is surrounded by water. It’s located at the mouth of the Caloosahatchee and the Gulf. In a statement, a spokesperson for Shell Point said, “Shell Point’s top priority is always the safety and well-being of our residents.”

The family of Mikes doesn’t buy it.

In their lawsuit, they blame Shell Point for her death, saying her “lifeless body” was discovered by staff in the front door of her apartment five days following the storm.

The family says there is only one explanation when considering why Mikes was left behind in the first place. Negligence.

Shell Point neighbor Keith Seick told WINK News this information comes as a complete shock.

“It really does. I mean they take such good care of their people as best I can tell and what is reported to me from residents,” said Seick.

Attached to the lawsuit are emails the family claims are proof Oran’s guardian personally made arrangements with Shell Point staff to evacuate Mikes during the week leading up to Hurricane Ian’s landfall. That same guardian confirmed Mikes name was on the list to be moved to a shelter the day before the storm hit.

The suit says a Shell Point staff member assured her the building would be checked thoroughly to ensure nobody was left behind. Despite that, Mikes was left behind.

The autopsy report, according to the lawsuit says that Mikes likely died shortly before, during, or shortly after the hurricane of a fatal cardiac event.

The statement from Shell Point went on to say, “Shell Point remains fully committed to upholding the highest standards of care and compassion for those we serve… we are unable to comment on potential litigation.”

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