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News Stories

A Christmas Miracle: 48 Hours After Being Dropped Off at the Wrong Address Our Client is Found 10 Miles From Home

A Bentley & More LLP client, “Mr. X” suffered a heart attack in April 2016 while at work nearly taking his life.  It also left him with an anoxic brain injury rendering him unable to recall his age or location. 

For the past year, our client has been at a care facility in Pomona called Casa Colina.  Since the injury occurred on the job, he is receiving treatment in the California Workers’ Compensation system.

The Thursday before Christmas, the decision was made for him to go home for the holidays.  This allowed him to spend Christmas with his wife, children and five grandchildren.  The Nurse Case Manager hired a transportation company through the workers’ compensation claim. 

Specific details and instructions were provided to the transport company. Unfortunately, the instructions were not followed and “Mr. X” was dropped off at the wrong location in Laguna Woods. 

By 12 pm, on Christmas Eve Day, his family became concerned as he was scheduled to arrive home at 10 am.  Around 1 pm the family called the transport company and were told them that “Mr. X” had been dropped off near the home. 

A search began but no luck. 

Upon being contacted by the family, I called the team at Casa Colina and found out they were also aware of the situation. The police were notified and began a search/rescue. The search went on until about 3 am inside the Laguna Woods complex. 

On Christmas day, Grandpa was still missing.  Presents remained under the tree waiting for a miracle.  The temperatures outside this December night dropped to the low 40’s. “Mr. X” had no coat, boots or winter gear. 

The family had not yet been able to put out flyers, so our team of attorneys put together a Missing Persons Poster.  We printed up 100 copies and headed down to Laguna Woods. 

My partner, Greg Bentley also got on the phone with family and friends in the area. 

Then a real miracle occurred. 

Greg’s brother-in-law, a store manager of Big 5 Sporting Goods, saw the poster and recognized “Mr. X” from Christmas Eve Day.  We now know “Mr. X” had left the Laguna Woods complex.  After hours and hours of searching, we left the search/rescue team.

“Mr. X” also has diabetes and requires multiple medications.  He had not had his regularly scheduled dosage in nearly two days.  By midnight he was presumed dead by his family. 

Miracles they say do happen and today one undoubtedly occurred. 

Almost 10 miles from the drop-off, a man had taken shelter in the Best Western Lobby and fallen asleep on the couch.  An employee called the police. 

Sure enough, it was “Mr. X”. He’s alive!

Hearing the news, I got chills…Miracles do happen.