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Lawsuit alleges nurse killed 3rd patient by administering fatal dose of insulin

LOWER BURRELL, Pa. — A family is suing a nursing home in Lower Burrell after their mother, who was a patient, was allegedly killed by former nurse Heather Pressdee. This is the third person Pressdee is accused of murdering.

A beloved mother and grandmother, Marianne Bower, 67, of Freeport, was allegedly murdered about two years ago when she was a patient at Belair Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center, a Guardian Healthcare skilled nursing facility.

Her family’s attorney, Robert Pierce, said the assistant director of nursing at the time, Heather Pressdee, administered a fatal dose of insulin to Bower — and the unnecessary medication caused her death.

However, the family was originally told Bower had respiratory failure.

“What they thought was true turned out to be incorrect,” Pierce said.

Pierce said two weeks ago, the Attorney General’s office called the family and told them Pressdee confessed to administering the insulin. Now, the family is suing the facility for wrongful death. Pierce said when Pressdee was hired, Belair failed to look into her background, which contained many red flags.

“Prior to coming to Belair over two and half years, she worked at six different facilities — each one for only a couple months. According to our investigation and police investigations, she was either terminated or voluntarily resigned from these six facilities due to abuse towards staff or residents.”

When other nurses voiced their concerns about Pressdee, Pierce said Belair’s administrators disciplined them. Pierce also said during a Department of Health investigation before Bower’s death, he said Pressdee admitted to not following certain protocols.

Channel 11 also learned that Pressdee contacted Bower’s family before her passing.

“The text said Scott (Bower’s son) needs to come to the hospital because his mother is not doing well,” Pierce said.

Pierce said Pressdee went on to work at four more facilities before she was eventually arrested earlier this year for similar accusations. The Attorney General’s office charged Pressdee in the deaths of two patients and the injury of another at Quality Life Services in Chicora, Butler County, while working as a registered nurse in 2022. A family member of one of the victims in that case has sued Quality Life Services.

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Right now, Pressdee remains in jail, unable to post bond.

Guardian Healthcare sent Channel 11 the following statement:

“Everyone at Guardian Healthcare, as well as the management and staff at Belair Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center, are devastated and disheartened that someone entrusted to care for our patients could do something like this. Our deepest sympathies go out to the families that have been impacted by Heather Pressdee’s actions and behavior, especially Ms. Bower’s family.

While we cannot comment extensively about Ms. Bower’s residency at Belair due to privacy laws and pending litigation, our top priority is always to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our residents and to employ qualified, caring staff to deliver the care our residents deserve. Belair has hiring policies and procedures in place that are designed to vet the qualifications and background of potential employees.  Management at Belair or any Guardian site take seriously their responsibility not to employ an individual who has the potential to intentionally harm one of our residents.”

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