“A bad dream”: Sister who filed lawsuit against Chappy's, caregivers, alleges beating | KSTP.com

“A bad dream”: Sister who filed lawsuit against Chappy's, caregivers, alleges beating

Updated: August 26, 2019 06:08 PM

The Aitkin County Sheriff confirmed to 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS that the law enforcement investigation remains active in the death of 58-year-old Steven Nelson. His family filed a civil wrongful death lawsuit against Chappy’s Golden Shores, where he received care.

The lawsuit, filed by Nelson’s sister, Connie Billmeier, alleges that last fall, "One employee held Mr. Nelson down, while the second jumped on top of Mr. Nelson and hit him in the face repeatedly causing bleeding around his face and head."

Billmeier, of Champlin, sat down with 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS for the first time since filing the lawsuit in Aitkin County court in recent weeks.

The lawsuit also alleges the assault and delay in treatment for a stroke led to Nelson’s death on Oct. 25, 2018, from complications from a brain bleed.

Report says Hill City care center resident was beaten by staff member weeks before death

"How could someone stand there and watch that and not do anything to stop it,” said Billmeier. “It will never, it will never leave my mind."

The lawsuit names the Hill City center, Chappy’s Golden Shores, and operator Theresa L. Olson as defendants.

“Chappy’s Golden Shores takes these allegations very seriously as they care deeply about their residents,” wrote the care center’s attorney, Alana Bassin. “They deny the allegations and are confident that the facts will show that they are baseless.”

The lawsuit alleges, “A staff member saw the aftermath of Mr. Nelson’s beating and that he was bleeding from his face. The staff member was terrified and wondered how anyone could treat a helpless client in this manner. The staff member stated others reportedly told the owner, but the owner did nothing.”

"A helpless person, in a wheelchair, he couldn't even defend himself," said Billmeier.

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Eric Chaloux

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