The Washington Post recently highlighted a tragic story of elder abuse that took place in San Diego— the story of a 90-year-old woman whose caretaker squatted in her client’s home and rented out rooms in it against her will. The victim, Fran Breslauer moved out of her home shortly after her husband’s passing, only to have a trusted caretaker, Cheryl Sherrell take over the home and refuse to leave.
This story of San Diego elder abuse worsens, as more details of Sherrell’s misconduct surface. According to reports, Sherrell had been hired as an aid for Fran Breslauer’s husband, Alan, during his final months, at their self-built home near the San Diego State University campus. The Breslauers lived there for six decades, only to be maliciously taken advantage of by the aid hired to nurse Alan Breslauer on his deathbed. Not long after she was hired, however, Sherrell was fired for improper conduct. Though she was provided with the appropriate 30-day notice of termination, Sherrell refused to leave the property even after Alan Breslauer died.
In a further disturbing turn of events, Sherrell shifted towards violence while she squatted in the Breslauer home. She threw Fran Breslauer’s car keys at her and adjusted the water heater to its hottest setting, so that Fran suffered burns from the scorching water temperature. Finally, a few months after Sherrell’s squatting began, she was issued an official restraining order and was removed from the house. Unfortunately, the story doesn’t end there.
Fran Breslauer—in preparing to sell the home after her husband’s death and the ensuing ordeal with Sherrell—moved out of state to live with one of her daughters. After learning of Fran Breslauer’s departure, Sherrell leapt on the opportunity of a vacant home and moved back in, just after the restraining order expired. She convinced the cleaning crew sent to prep the home for sale that she was either the owner or the tenant, and immediately took up residence.
Four months after a civil lawsuit was filed against Sherrell to remove her from the Breslauers’ San Diego home, she was finally arrested. Not long after, more stories surfaced of Sherrell’s alleged past abuse of senior citizens in San Diego who she was hired to care for. Cheri Gittins, who hired Sherrell fifteen years prior to care for her ailing grandmother, reported that Sherrell was improperly feeding her grandmother, and allowed a boyfriend to stay at her house. When Sherrell was fired from that position, she also refused to leave.
Cases like these indicate the dangers facing elders in San Diego and across the United States. Unfortunately, there are those who prey on seniors in a variety of ways—from financial scams to nursing home negligence, and more. Amidst these heinous actions, there is legal recourse and justice available under California law. An experienced San Diego elder abuse attorney can help you or a loved one defend their rights and advocate on their behalf. To learn more about elder abuse law and the legal options available to you and your family, contact Walton Law today for a consultation.
Walton Law, APC is a San Diego boutique law firm dedicated exclusively to representing injured parties in the areas of personal injury, nursing home abuse and neglect, and financial elder abuse. We only represent people – not insurance companies – and take pride in our reputation for obtaining full and fair compensation for our clients while providing personalized client service. If you believe somebody you know has been a victim of elder abuse in San Diego, CA, please call (866) 338-7079 or contact us online for a free and confidential consultation.