Joseph Roberts was 47 years old when he was admitted to the Carriage Hill Health and Rehabilitation Center for a two-month period after he suffered a broken leg. Roberts had a variety of health problems, including stroke-related paralysis. That condition required Roberts to use a wheelchair. He also smoked — against nursing home policy — during this admission. He ignored staff members’ warnings not to smoke and did it anyway.
When Roberts was hospitalized several months after his admission to Carriage Hill, he requested that he be readmitted. Carriage Hill approved the second admission. However, Roberts continued to smoke during his time at the nursing home facility.
One early morning, a nursing facility aide took Roberts outside and left him there alone to smoke. When the aide returned, she found that Roberts was on the ground with his clothes on fire.