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Silverado Bans Sons' Visitation of 93 year old Mother for Social Media Posts

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The sons of 93 year old Ruby Peterson, Mack, Don, and Lonny Peterson, have been banned from visiting their mother repeatedly by Silverado Senior Living based upon the content of social media posts concerning her year long false imprisonment and forced drugging at its Sugarland facility. Despite the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and Texas' preeminent anti-SLAPP statute (Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation), both of which prohibits threats or lawsuits based upon the "content" of speech, and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, which protect the Peterson brothers in the course of advocating for the needs of their mother, a covered individual by virtue of her disability, Silverado Senior Living continues to violate these Statutes with 24/7 monitoring of the online activities followed by threats of additional visitation bans.

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Silverado Senior Living's sole argument is that the Peterson brothers are violating the privacy rights of their mother and/or other residents or staff who were inadvertently included and vaguely discerned in a small portion of such videos and photographs taken of Ruby Peterson. This might seem plausible if you did not know that until this lawsuit was filed, Silverado Senior Living maintained numerous Facebook Groups in which the Company posted countless photographs of residents to advertise their "memory care" facility Nationwide.

Silverado Senior Living hardly seems interested in the Constitutional Right to Privacy, as evidenced by the Sugarland facility's routine violation of the Texas Administrative Code, Section 19.401 and Elder Bill of Rights in Texas Human Resource Code, Section 102.003--in spying on the communications of Don, Lonny and Mack with their mother and prohibiting their mandatory right to privacy in meetings at their facility. Don Peterson was recently threatened by Silverado Senior Living Staff to put his cell phone away or else. All three brothers indicate that as a result of the State and Federal Lawsuits filed against Silverado, they are no longer permitted to meet with their mother in private. They are prohibited from visiting Ruby Peterson in her room, as they have done for the past year of her involuntary confinement. Staff is never more than 6-8 feet away during their visits to spy on their communications, presumably.

Trial in Mackey Glen Peterson, Don Leslie Peterson and Lonny Peterson's July lawsuit filed in Texas District Court for conspiracy, breach of trust, breach of fiduciary duty, false imprisonment, assault, battery, breach of privacy, and conversion is set for November 19, 2012 in Probate Court No. 1. Claims have also been made against Dr. Rebecca Clearman and Dr. Christopher Merkl of Sugarland, Texas. A second lawsuit was filed by the brothers on July 29, 2014, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas Houston Division against Silverado Senior Living, doing business as Silverado Senior Living–Sugar Land, and Tana McMillon. The Federal Lawsuit asserts claims which could not be brought in Probate Court under 42 U.S.C. 1983, Title II of the Americans With Disabilities Act, and the 1st and 14th Amendments to the United States Constitution.

Silverado Senior Living is accused of violating the First Amendment to the United States Constitution by drugging Ruby Peterson against her will and denying her the Constitutionally protected right to free exercise of her religion by prohibiting her from leaving Silverado to attend church. Silverado cites a revoked 1993 power of attorney as authority for its decision to refuse to permit Ruby Peterson egress from Silverado for the past year for any reason. While claiming that she would become disoriented by being permitted to leave, Silverado simultaneously moves Ruby's room 4 times during the past year and admits to routinely lying to her and tricking her to take medication she finds objectionable. Dr. Merkl of Sugarland testified that proper medical care for the elderly involves deceit in response to questioning as to whether it is appropriate to lie, trick, or force dangerous antipsychotic drugs upon the elderly over their objection. Plaintiffs' expert testified that the American Medical Association prohibits lying to patients. Perhaps Dr. Merkl should renew his membership.

The Petersons allege their visitation rights to Silverado Senior Living had been revoked based on the “posting of exploitive and invasive materials which also violate the privacy rights of other Silverado residents.” The plaintiffs have been allowed to visit their mother only by immediately removing objectionable photographs and videos from social media and the internet. Despite the fact that this demand violates their rights, they have agreed, in part, solely to avoid a complete ban on their visitation with their declining 93 year old mother. The Petersons contend the nursing home’s decision to revoke their visitation rights was arbitrary and unreasonable. They say they have not published anything that could be considered invasive or exploitive. The plaintiffs further allege the actions of Silverado revoking access and prohibiting association with their mother by themselves and their spouses was retaliatory and oppressive, based on the content of communication and publication relating to matters of general public concern, the complaint says.

Lonny Peterson claims he attempted to visit his mother July 27, but was told to leave the premises. That same day, Don Peterson and his spouse also attempted to see their mother at the home, but were stopped at the door and warned, saying they would be arrested if they did not immediately leave the premises, according to the complaint. The plaintiffs currently have no way to see their mother if they do not submit to the oppressive demands of Silverado Senior Living because it is locked and she cannot leave. Though no judge has ordered that Ruby Peterson be committed and a power of attorney cannot legally hold the principal--confined against her will, Silverado Senior Living persists in virtually incarcerating Ruby Peterson against her will. Despite Ruby's repeated demands to leave Silverado--some of which made while screaming and crying--Silverado refuses.

Because of the nursing home’s actions, the plaintiffs suffered physical and mental harm, including mental, emotional and physical distress and anxiety. Defendants have retaliated against them and failed to provide access to reasonable and necessary visitation, violating their constitutional rights, in addition to violating the Constitutional rights of Ruby Peterson. The lawsuit is filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas Houston Division case number 4:14-cv-02179. Their story unfolds on LetRubyGo.com!

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