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Emerald South sued over fatal beating of patient by another patient

A lawsuit was filed Friday in the case of an 82-year-old woman who suffered fatal injuries in a beating last year in a Delaware Avenue nursing home, according to a lawyer representing the family.

Ruth Murray, 82, was fatally beaten.

Ruth Murray was a resident of Emerald South Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, 1175 Delaware Ave. near West Ferry Street, in Buffalo. On the morning of Aug. 26, she mistakenly wandered into a man’s room in the dementia unit, where she also lived, and the attack occurred.

The New York State Health Department, which last month fined the nursing home $10,000, reported that she wandered unsupervised into the room, and the man reacted violently believing another man was breaking into his house. Murray suffered a broken neck, several broken ribs, a broken nose, facial fractures and a collapsed lung in the attack. She died three days later in Erie County Medical Center.

{Related: State fines nursing home $10,000 in fatal beating of patient]

The lawsuit filed in Erie County Court is seeking unspecified damages for her injuries and death, said Michael Scinta, a lawyer with the Brown Chiari law firm that represents the family of Murray.

The state cited Emerald South for not ensuring that each resident receives adequate supervision to prevent accidents. That was one of four deficiencies that led to the fine. Emerald South submitted a plan of correction acceptable to the state to address the shortcomings.

The News left a message seeking comment from Richard Sullivan, an attorney with the Harris Beach law firm who has represented Emerald South.

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