MANAGERS at a retirement home near Paris have apologised after they were criticised for throwing out a 94-year-old woman because her family had failed to pay the bills.
The resident had amassed a rent arrears of €40,000 when staff decided to evict her. They tried to return her to a family member, who refused, and instead drove her to a nearby hospital accident-and-emergency unit.
Care home manager Richard Claverie said: "We made a mistake and I want to sincerely apologise to this resident." He said the decision to leave her at a hospital instead of taking her back to the care home was "clumsy".
The minister for the elderly, Michèle Delaunay, said the eviction was a breach of the law and a violation of human dignity. The Villa Beausoleil in Chaville could face legal action under France's law that bans evictions during winter.
But Mr Claverie said the winter ban did not apply in this case because it was not a conventional rental contract. He said the care home had been patient with the elderly woman's family - who had not paid in almost two years.
"We called them, we wrote to them several times," he told France Info.