Charges: Caregiver set chairlift 5 feet from the ground, 101-year-old woman died falling from it

The 29-year-old employee of a facility in Redwood Falls has been charged with manslaughter.
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A care center employee has been charged with the manslaughter of a 101-year-old woman who died from a fall while under his care.

Francisco Javier Ramirez, 29, of Renville, made a series of alleged mistakes while using a bathroom chair lift to get Evelyn Augusta Schweim out of the bath at the Sunwood Good Samaritan Center in Redwood Falls, central Minnesota.

According to the criminal complaint, Ramirez set the swinging chairlift 5 feet from the ground – the highest possible level – before undoing Schweim's seatbelt.

The frail Schweim then slid off the chair to the ground, breaking her ankle in the incident on Sept. 10, 2017.

Seven days later, Schweim died from her injuries.

The complaint said that care home procedures state that a chairlift should be lifted no higher than 1-2 feet at any time.

Ramirez is also accused of disregarding protocol further by first attempting to move Schweim and then leaving her alone while he got help. He also should have asked a second person to assist him getting her in and out of the bath.

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An investigation was launched after Schweim's death was reported to the Minnesota Adult Abuse Reporting Center.

The complaint reveals Ramirez had been trained in protocols for the use of the chair twice, in 2014 and 2017.

As well as manslaughter, Ramirez has been charged with two counts of criminal neglect, and one of mistreatment of patients.

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