OSSIPEE – The widow of Carroll County Commissioner Peter Olkkola has filed a lawsuit seeking damages for injuries she said she suffered in a fall on an ice-slicked walkway at Mountain View Nursing Home.
Attorney Scott Harris of McLane, Middleton, PA of Manchester, on behalf of Ann S. Olkkola, alleges that due to the reckless conduct of the nursing home and the county in failing to salt and sand the walkway, she incurred significant pain, loss, medical bills and lost wages.
Commissioner Peter Olkkola, 69, died Dec. 19, 2009 from cancer.
The complaint filed in Carroll County Superior Court on Nov. 22 alleges that on Nov. 26, 2016 nursing home staff called Olkkola at 2 a.m. to report that her father, Joseph Wiley, 99, was not doing well and would likely not survive the night.
The complaint says she dressed and drove to the nursing home to be at her father’s bedside. At 6:30 a.m. she returned to her Ossipee home to shower and call family members. She returned to the nursing home about 8:30 a.m., parked near the entrance, and when she exited her car within a few steps she fell on her right side as the pavement on the walkway had a coating of slick ice.
According to the complaint, it was apparent that someone had sanded around the immediate entryway to the building but hadn't done the walkway.
According to the complaint, as Olkkola entered the building she was stopped by three different nursing home employees who had apparently witnessed her fall who asked if she was OK.
“Cradling her arm, Olkkola who was distracted by the fact that her father was near death, said she was not OK and had fallen on the icy walkway. She told them someone should salt and sand the walkway before someone else was injured,” the complaint reads.
Her father died the following day.
For her own injury, Olkkola went to the emergency room but X-rays did not reveal a fracture. When the pain in her arm continued, she returned to the hospital for an MRI that showed she had suffered a torn rotator cuff.
Olkkola underwent surgery in April 2017 and had physical therapy; she suffered substantial pain, sleeplessness, loss of mobility and time out of work as a consequence of the fall, according to Harris.
The complaint states that Olkkola put the county on notice of her injuries in a letter sent by certified mail on Feb. 2, 2017. Howard Chandler, the home’s administrator, responded and indicated that the county through its insurer would be in contact with the medical providers who had treated Olkkola.
Harris wrote that his client does not know if that ever occurred.