An elderly woman died last summer inside her home due to extreme heat, several days after she requested that her air conditioning be fixed.
Virginia DeSapio, 82, of Henderson, was found dead inside her home on Aug. 22. She died from environmental heat stress, but also had an underlying condition of lung cancer, according to the Clark County coroner’s office.
A wrongful death complaint filed in Clark County District Court Thursday alleged that DeSapio requested on Aug. 11 that her cooling system be fixed by Fidelity National Home Warranty Company, who had a contract to provide services to DeSapio’s home.
As part of the contract, Fidelity National was required to start to emergency service work within 24 hours after the request was made, according to the complaint.
The day DeSapio made the request for service, she was told Fidelity National was looking for a technician to complete the work. The company told DeSapio several times over the next few days that the request was put on hold, at one point saying a technician was researching pricing.
DeSapio was found dead around 9:25 a.m. on Aug. 22, according to the coroner.
She was found with her dog Jesse, who had also died, according to Christian Morris, an attorney representing DeSapio’s family.
“Fidelity National put the price of a part over the value of human life. Their negligence is unacceptable and is also in direct violation of Nevada law, which recognizes the emergent need for air conditioning systems to be repaired,” Morris said in a statement. “This should never have happened to Virginia and her family does not want this to happen to anyone else.”
The complaint alleged that temperatures reached 100 degrees and higher while DeSapio’s air conditioning was not working. After her death, Fidelity National continued to send updates about her request for service.
On Sept. 5, exactly two weeks after DeSapio was found dead, Fidelity National said the repairs had been completed, according to the complaint.
DeSapio’s attorneys alleged negligence, breach of contract and wrongful death on the part of Fidelity National.
Multiple attempts to reach Fidelity National were unsuccessful.