Letter: Facility needs to be improved and made safer

Our mother’s life mattered.

As most of you know, our mother, Margaret Marshall, was born and raised in Naugatuck. Like her mother, Margaret Kelly, lived in Oak Terrace for over 20 years. Somewhere along the line the facility changed from a senior facility to a facility for seniors and people with disabilities.

Our mother was not safe the night she went outside Feb. 7, 2010 at Oak Terrace. It was proven in court that ice buildup caused a dangerous situation, which was confirmed by a maintenance worker and was proven in court the housing authority was negligent for not removing ice. No one from the housing authority noticed the buildup of ice since they were not advised to check. The ice was there for over a week and was in the back of the apartment, and not noticeable to visitors, but should have been noticeable to workers. Common sense would tell you that our mother would more than likely not have fell if the ice was removed. No one knows why she went outside at night, possibly to empty garbage. There should be hand rails around the garbage cans.

The housing authority by a jury of their peers was found guilty of negligence, but appealed. We were prepared to go and retry the case and defend our mother’s name, but before the new trial occurred, the housing authority wanted to settle. We agreed to settle for a minimal amount since it was imperative that the housing authority be held accountable for contributing to our mothers passing. We believe, any amount of a settlement is an admission to guilt.

We are so thankful for the justice system and attorney Jim Miron for believing in us. We pray the housing authority learned a lesson and will improve the facility and make it safe.

Susan Watts

Linda Hanley

Reene (Marie) Butterly

James Marshall

The writers are the children of Margaret Marshall.