Elderly Beating Lawsuit

September 11, 2003. -- Posted at 7:49 a.m. CDT

FORDYCE, Ark.  -- The nursing home where an 81-year-old died two weeks after a severe beating is being sued by the victim's family.

The lawsuit accuses the home in its hiring of two nursing assistants charged in the crime. The suspects worked at Dallas County Nursing Home, a privately owned business, and are accused of beating the woman with brass knuckles.

Eighty-one-year-old Willie Mae Ryan died August 14th after she was taken off a ventilator at a Pine Bluff hospital. Dallas County Prosecutor Jamie Pratt charged 17-year-old Shermika Rainey and 44-year-old Gayla Wilson with capital murder in the July 30th beating.

Pratt said Ryan was beaten in her bed. Police said one person held the woman down while the other administered the beating, allegedly using brass knuckles.

The lawsuit alleges that the nursing home failed to properly supervise the workers and prevent the abuse.

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