Two days after entering her gym, the body of Patricia Austin, 78, was found in the restroom area of the facility after another woman alerted staff about seeing her feet in the stall.
After being alerted, staff entered the bathroom at Life Time Fitness and knocked on the stall door, but received no response, according to Fox News. The employee then crawled under the door to find Austin unresponsive on the toilet and called paramedics while performing CPR.
Austin was declared dead on the scene and an autopsy revealed her death was a result of natural causes, but her family is seeking answers. The family’s attorney filed a petition in Cook County Circuit Court for all surveillance tapes from when Austin arrived to her discovery as well as information about the club’s procedures and protocols, according to ABC 7.
“We’re filled with stress and frustration not having the answers that we desire,” Austin’s son, Terrence Austin, told ABC. “We don’t know how something like this can happen. Were there policies, procedures? Did they follow them? Why did this happen? How to prevent this from happening to someone else?”
Life Time Fitness spokesman Jason Thunstrom released a statement and said: “We are terribly saddened by this tragedy and continue to have our heartfelt thoughts and prayers with the family. As a large facility with several thousand members visiting daily, it is not uncommon for bathroom stalls to be occupied as staff conducts their cleaning protocol. Out of respect for members, cleaning staff do not disturb individuals in occupied stalls. Moreover, cleaning staff rotates throughout the course of the day with responsibility for cleaning varying as shift changes occur. Finally, during the club’s brief closure period each day, it is not uncommon for members to be completing their workouts and using bathroom facilities before departing, or for our staff members to be using the same bathroom facilities.”