State Finds In Favor Of Paralyzed Woman’s Mistreatment Claims

By Jack Douglas Jr., CBS 11 Investigative Producer
patient abuse State Finds In Favor Of Paralyzed Womans Mistreatment Claims

(Photo credit KTVT)

FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) —  Fatima Jalilian has a lot of fight in her … even lying down.

When she orders something to be delivered, she expects to get it, despite being paralyzed and dependent on others to help her following a car crash in Dallas 19 years ago.

So when several items she’d purchased over the Internet were turned away by a Fort Worth assisted-living facility, including needed medical supplies and even an inexpensive ring, Jalilian complained to the state.

Frustrated, she then called CBS 11 News.

“In my world, people don’t think it’s a big deal. But when that’s all you have to look forward to because … Even though I’m a woman, I don’t get to fix my hair. I don’t get to wear clothes. I don’t get to go out,” Jalilian said from her bed at Westchester Plaza.

Following an investigation by the state and by CBS 11, Texas health care officials concluded that there was “merit” to her complaints, saying her rights as a patient had been violated.

In a report obtained exclusively by CBS 11, the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services said Westchester Plaza, just south of downtown Fort Worth, “failed to allow resident Jalilian to receive her mail” and “failed to provide a non-retaliatory environment through which resident Jalilian can voice grievances.”

But the state did not issue a citation against Westchester – the largest assisted-living facility in Texas – because it was voluntarily correcting problems.

Members of Westchester’s senior management disputed the state’s findings and said Jalilian was never mistreated.

“We certainly disagreed with the state in terms of the individual. That was hearsay,” said Jeff Bryant, senior property manager at Westchester.

Jalilian, who, at 38, has spent half her lifetime on her back, is not the first to complain about conditions at Westchester, state officials say.

They provided records to CBS 11 News that show Westchester has been cited at least 121 times for violating state regulations since new owners took over near the end of 2008. That is triple the amount of citations written against Westchester in the three years prior to the new ownership, the state said.

That jump in violations is “certainly concerning” and “definitely a situation that we want to keep a close eye on,” said Allison Lowery, spokeswoman for the Department of Aging and Disability Services, also known as DADS.

Westchester management said there is a reason for the increase in reported violations – and it’s not their fault.

“The overall population (for people on Medicaid) has gotten younger.. and, culturally, that younger population is much more demanding,” said Doug Sweeney, president of the non-profit group that owns Westchester.

Fatima Jalilian, finding strength in the wake of enduring tragedy, is glad she spoke up.

“I almost want to give up, but there’s something inside me … I can’t,” she told CBS 11 News. “There’s just a little something inside me that won’t let me.”

If you have a story you want CBS 11 Investigates to look into, email Jack at

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  • dsabedra

    Good for Fatima for speakiing up! CBS, stay ob this assisted living establishement’s tail!

  • Tom Roome

    If this is the attitude of the management and I guess that the physically disable should not have a life and just lay in bed all day, then Mr. Sweenery should step down and get someone who cares for the people! The State needs to go in and cite them again and force the management to make major changes by firing whoever was refusing her packages! As a person with a disability, I am offended by his statement and it is NOT that we are more demanding, but the fact is that technology have made things more accessible to all! People with disabilities will not be lock away anymore.
    Keep up the good work Channel CBS11

  • Evelyn DuBois

    Atta girl Fatima and good for you CBS11! Just because a person can’t walk doesn’t mean they are not of sound mind. Westchester people should be ashamed treating a human being with lack of dignity. I sure hope the responsible party is dealt with appropriately. Obviously in business only for the money. Get out if you don’t see the human quality in all people.

  • Real Name - Shelia

    The management wants the residents to stay in their rooms or in the activity rooms (told to me personally by Jeff-Owner) — not to “loiter’ in the downstairs lobby. This is their home, but they are being controlled for the benefit of egos. We know, we live there. Funny how people who don’t even live their pick up on the disrespect and mistreatment. What goes around, comes around. God WILL take care of them, even though Jeff says he sleeps well at night.

    • Fatima J


      • Shelia

        Yep. And for the folks: When the ONLY question the Fort Worth Policeman asks you is “What do you think about WESTCHESTER?”, then you KNOW there’s a problem!! I passed this info directly to Mr. B, and he stated he knew he was “notorious”. His exact word! I said, “yes we know that.” He wanted to know which policeman — hmmmm. Hang in there.

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