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"Arden Hills nursing home found at fault in death of woman, 91, with neck fracture"

According to the St. Paul Pioneer Press, three conclusions were made in the state's investigation of last year's death of Gladys Gall at Presbyterian Homes of Arden Hills:

"The woman's April 28 death was preceded by a fracture of her cervical spine."

"No such neck fracture can occur without a violent incident or fall."

"Somebody must know what happened - even if she fell on her own - because she couldn't have picked herself up from such an injury."

The Minnesota Department of Health released an investigative report this week, holding the nursing home accountable for maltreatment. The department told the Pioneer Press that Gall would had to have "suffered a severe blow or fall" while living in the home.

Presbyterian Homes has challenged the state's accusations. Without being able to identify any specific incidents of maltreatment, Traci Beach, administrator of the Arden Hills home, said that "it is unfair for the state to fault the home."

According to reports, Gall suffered from memory loss and advanced osteoporosis, "putting her at risk for falls," as stated by the Pioneer Press.

After Gall's admittance to the emergency room on April 18, 2008, doctors found a fracture in her neck. However, Gall wasn't able to remember how it might have been caused.

The Pioneer Press also revealed that a neurosurgeon who is being consulted in the state's investigation said "Gall couldn't have suffered the injury - known as a hangman's fracture because of its severity - without experiencing trauma."

Only theories have been offered so far by investigators and family.