Lawyer son sues care provider

A Perth lawyer is suing a care provider after an employee allegedly locked him in a room on Mother's Day and berated him about being a bad son.

John-Paul Colella launched action in the District Court last week, claiming damages from Brightwater Care Group for false imprisonment.

He told _The Weekend West _he was locked in a room with an employee at Brightwater Oats Street after he argued with her on the phone about his mother's care. Mr Colella, 28, said the woman lured him into the room when he visited his mum on Mother's Day, then demanded an apology and hurled abuse at him.

He claims she refused to unlock the door until he got angry and smashed a phone against a wall, which led to her calling police.

Mr Colella was questioned by police and not charged.

His mother Rosetta Colella had a stroke in 2012 and is highly dependent on carers at the East Victoria Park rehabilitation facility.

Mr Colella is also suing the company for negligence on behalf of his mother, claiming she had been left in a dark room during the day with no mental stimulation on multiple occasions.

He alleges staff failed to prevent an obvious infection at the site of her feeding tube, failed to get her ready for appointments and did not address a recurring problem with her catheter.

Brightwater is aware of the writs but has not been formally served with the documents.

Chief executive Penny Flett said she was "extremely surprised" by the allegations.

"They spuriously imply practices which are completely alien to our organisation's values," she said. "Brightwater has looked after many thousands of people, with best possible care, for over 100 years and we have not changed now."

Dr Flett said the company had repeatedly tried to engage Mr Colella to resolve the issues.

Brightwater is one of the biggest residential care providers in WA, with 23 facilities.

Mr Colella said he had met many good Brightwater nurses but had been stonewalled by management when he tried to raise concerns about others.

He said Brightwater told him legal action would jeopardise its ability to care for his mother, who has nowhere else to go.

The West Australian

Popular videos

Compare & Save

Our Picks

Compare & Save

More from The West