RELATED: Attorney says understaffing at Oakmont Senior Living may have played a role in evacuation
The Department of Social Services had already opened investigations into the evacuations from Varenna at Fountaingrove and Villa Capri. Villa Capri is the building that burned down. Oakmont Senior Living in Santa Rosa off Fountaingrove Parkway is made up of four communities. The Department of Social Services has not opened an investigation into the evacuation of Oakmont Terraces.
RELATED: Seniors may have been left at burning Oakmont living center
Meantime, attorneys for Oakmont Senior Living have filed a response to a lawsuit filed against them last month. Attorney Kathryn Stebner filed the lawsuit prior to the fire. It alleges Oakmont dupes residents and family members by assessing residents' caregiving needs and charging them and their families accordingly, but not adjusting staff levels to meet those needs. One of the four named plaintiffs was a resident at Villa Capri which burned down in the fires two weeks ago.
The claim is a proposed class action lawsuit. The attorney who filed the claim says that residents who evacuated the buildings during the recent fires are possible members of the class.
In its response, attorneys for Oakmont Senior Living argue the complaint cannot stand as a class action because each plaintiff had a differing, subjective experience. Oakmont Senior Living's attorneys also make a motion to dismiss stating that the complaint fails to state a "cause of action" because it does not allege Oakmont Senior Living made representations about staffing or budgets.
VIDEO: Varenna Oakmont Senior Living Community resident describes terrifying 'inferno' and confusing evacuation
Finally, attorneys for Oakmont Senior Living argue the court should abstain from adjudicating because it would require the court to assume the role of the Department of Social Services.
The attorney who filed the original claim against Oakmont Senior Living has 14 days to respond to the response.
The Department of Social Services is investigating the evacuation at two of Oakmont Senior Living's four buildings on the Fountaingrove Avenue Property - "Varenna" (also known as the main building) and "Villa Capri." If you have any information you would like DSS to consider in its investigation, you can file a complaint by calling 1-844-LET US NO (538-8766) or by clicking here.
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