Local News

Survivor of fatal attack sues Chatham retirement community

Posted January 4, 2011

— A woman who survived an attack three years ago at an upscale Chatham County retirement community has filed suit against the facility and its management.

Rebecca Fisher was assaulted in December 2007 at Galloway Ridge at Fearrington facility near Pittsboro. Two other residents, Margaret Murta, 92, and her sister, Mary Corcoran, 82, died after the attack.

The women's housekeeper, Barbara Turrentine Clark, pleaded guilty in October 2008 to beating the women with a cane during a dispute over money. She is serving two life sentences in prison.

Fisher's lawsuit alleges that Clark had a criminal history and that no one at Galloway Ridge checked her background. An attorney for Galloway Ridge says the women never informed the retirement community that they had hired Clark.


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  • 1Moms_View Jan 4, 2011

    1. I do agree we desperately need torte reform.

    2. While not all facilities follow the same protocol regarding privately hired caregivers, the facility has a responsibility for the safety of all residents from anyone who enters the facility. The policy to have in place is to require anyone working with a resident in the facility-privately or facility employed- to complete a background check and have any required medical screening (TB etc) before even starting work. If the person is certified, the proper licensing agency should also be contacted for a check there also. You'd be amazed at the number of people who apply at a facility knowing they already have reports to boards which affect their licenses. I've seen revocations and suspensions of license and disciplinary actions on applicants. People have had felonies, violent crimes, drugs etc. pop up when doing checks on applicants or privately hired staff.

  • RB-1 Jan 4, 2011

    This is on earlier coverage of this story:

    "Clark, of 275 Toomer Loop Road, had worked for the elderly sisters as a housekeeper when they lived elsewhere."


    If that's true, how would Galloway Ridge have any control over that???

  • RB-1 Jan 4, 2011

    HG - "Sometimes these people do hire their own help, or have their kids take care of them, and that seems to be the case here."

    If that's true, I'm surprised an attorney took the case.

  • thefensk Jan 4, 2011

    Yeah, I have to agree that this seems a bit silly and uncalled for.

  • citizensoldier16 Jan 4, 2011

    Galloway Ridge should sue the women for allowing unauthorized persons into the facility. Their actions invited violence into an otherwise secure location. If the women of question hired the woman, and Galloway Ridge did not...I fail to see how it is Galloway's problem. They got what they paid for.

    Yet another example of why WE NEED TORT REFORM!

  • heelsgirl05 Jan 4, 2011

    I happen to work here as a nurse, and it is a very nice place to work at. Very upscale and a lot of wealthy people (or people who have wealthy children) live here, and they do hire people called "companions" to assist with their day to day chores, or just to have someone around to talk to. Galloway ridge has their own companion program and any new hires are put through a background check like any other company would. Sometimes these people do hire their own help, or have their kids take care of them, and that seems to be the case here. in the other story related to this, it said that the woman owned barbara clark's enterprise-her home cleaning business. The company is not at fault, and the fact that there was no check done is irrelevant- Can't expect them to do that for people who dont work there and on the resident's children!

  • Time for the Truth Jan 4, 2011

    How does anyone survive a fatal attack? An FATAL attack means you were killed-no survival. Wral get someone who can write please!!

  • nrosie09 Jan 4, 2011

    A question that is not answered in this short unhappy story is how the elderly ladies found this individual; through an ad in the paper, or did the retirement community have a bulletin board or referral service for assistants?

  • Rockermom Jan 4, 2011

    If the woman had been employed BY the facility to look after the women, then, yes, I would agree with the suit. But she was hired by the women OUTSIDE of the jurisdiction of the nursing home.

    Still is bad, though. Anyone who hurts animals, children, and the elderly are bottom feeders.

  • tobywilliamson58 Jan 4, 2011

    No surprise here!!