MIAMI -- The Vero Beach living facility that plans to evict a 97-year-old woman for not complying with their no smoking policy released a statement Thursday that said she cannot continue to smoke and compromise the health of the other residents.
Jane O’Grady has been living at the facility for seven years and started smoking when she was 20 years old. The no smoking policy was initiated three years ago.
“Community living requires compromise, and she has unfortunately decided that her right to smoke supersedes the rights of the other 197 members and 95 employees who live and work here,” Alton Mendleson of The Lakes at Pointe West said in a statement, obtained by TCPalm.com.
The Lakes at Pointe West said they have been trying to work with O’Grady since the start of the new policy. The director said he made an exception to the rule and let her smoke outside of her apartment.
"I went outside, and then it turned so cold, I couldn't stand it," O’Grady was quoted as saying.
O’Grady also declined moving to the assisted-living community where employees could take her for walks to smoke, so she went back to smoking 10 cigarettes a day inside of her rented apartment.
"While Mrs. O'Grady is very concerned about the uncertainty of her living accommodations, which is taking a toll on her, she is very intelligent, has a lot of spunk and is not one to back away when she believes that she is in the right," her attorney Bill Stewart told TCPalm.
O’Grady said she was surprised by the eviction. Her friends said she has been acting differently since receiving the notice.
"If smoking was going to be a problem for the operator, it should have thought of that when it signed the Occupancy Agreement," Stewart was quoted as saying. "There is no reason why Mrs. O'Grady should suffer at this point for the operator's oversight."
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