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State v. Community Alternatives Missouri

267 S.W.3d 735 (2008)

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State v. Community Alternatives Missouri

Missouri Court of Appeals for the Southern District

267 S.W.3d 735 (2008)

Facts

Community Alternatives Missouri, Inc. (Community Alternatives) (defendant) was a corporation that operated over 30 group homes for the developmentally disabled, including Turtle Creek Group Home (Turtle Creek). Community Alternatives’ corporate structure consisted of three divisions. Turtle Creek was part of the South division. Mary Collura was the lead staff person for Turtle Creek. This position required Collura to manage residents’ medical care and supervise staff. Collura was responsible for training, evaluating, and disciplining staff members and was entrusted with the company’s credit card to purchase supplies. Gary Oheim was a resident at Turtle Creek. Oheim was unable to move himself and was therefore prone to developing bedsores. On one occasion, Collura accompanied Oheim on a visit to the medical clinic. The doctor asked Collura to lean Oheim forward so that he could examine Oheim for bedsores. Collura said this was unnecessary and instead leaned Oheim to the side; Oheim remained seated and fully clothed while examined by the doctor. Oheim later died from complications related to bedsores. A jury convicted Community Alternatives of resident neglect based on Collura’s knowing tolerance of conduct that presented an imminent danger to Oheim. The trial court sustained the verdict. Community Alternatives appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Parrish, J.)

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