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Forest Grove memory care center sued for $4.7M after patient leaves, drowns

The lawsuit says the patient suffered from severe memory loss and had tried to leave at least twice before disappearing from the Hawthorne House.

PORTLAND, Ore — 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.

RELATED: Searchers find body of missing Forest Grove man

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.

"They were aware of his condition. They were aware of what my expectations were and they were also aware of what care would be needed for my husband," said Suzanne Tanous, Tom Tanous' wife.

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.

"It's a tragedy for my family, but it's also a tragedy for the community because there are other families out there that are going to, or are in the process of going through the same situation," said Suzanne Tanous. "If these facilities are going to make promises, they need to be sure to keep them."

RELATED: Lawsuit: Portland senior living community's negligence led to heat wave death

RELATED: Family of man shot and killed by deputies in 2020 sues the Clark County Sheriff's Office

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