17 Former Employees Charged with Nursing Home Abuse

Felony Nursing Home Abuse Complaints Filed Against Former NY Caregivers

nursing home abuseThe New York State Attorney General’s office filed charges against 17 former employees of the HighPointe Nursing Home on Thursday, April 24th, for felony nursing home abuse.

The felony nursing home abuse complaints, filed in a Buffalo City Court, allege serious mistreatments at the facility, which is operated by Kaleida Health. HighPointe posted a 97% occupancy rate in March 2014.

The facility opened in December 2011, and has a recorded 119 complaints and incident reports filed against it through February 2014. That number is an average of 44.8 complaints per 100 occupants. The New York state health department conducted 59 on-site inspections, and had an average of 6.4 deficiency citations per 100 residents – which exceeds the state’s average of 2.2. Eleven of the seventeen citations dealt with quality of care.

Reportedly, six of those arrested on felony nursing home abuse charges are union members. They were charged with falsifying documents and had been fired.

“The falsification was related to patient care that was documented as being provided and allegedly was not,” according to a statement from the union.

Kaleida spokesperson Michael Hughes said, “Kaleida Health has terminated 17 employees for neglectful care of one resident. This behavior, and lack of appropriate care, is unacceptable and will not be tolerated. When we were made aware of the situation we took action. Kaleida Health, through its office of Internal Audit and Compliance, has been working cooperatively with the Attorney General’s office on this investigation.”

He added, “We will continue to work with the Attorney General’s office — and any other public entity — to remove any and all employees who are charged with a crime of patient neglect, as well as all employees whose conduct violates our commitment to provide safe and appropriate care to our patients and long-term care residents.”

3 Actions to Take Against Nursing Home Abuse

Nursing home abuse and neglect cases can be difficult to establish because of an widespread tendency by insurance adjusters, physicians, among others, to discount an elderly person’s injuries and the diminished quality of life that results from these damages.

There are many ways in which nursing homes can be held responsible for injuring others as a result of their negligence, abuse, exploitation, false imprisonment, or violations of criminal statutes, as well as violations of regulations pertaining to their licensing, maintenance, and general operation.

An act of abuse, neglect or exploitation of roulete an older person might give rise to one or all of the following types of proceedings:

  • an investigation and finding by an adult protective services agency or the regulatory agency for nursing homes (in South Carolina it is the Department of Environmental Control);
  • a civil cause of action for damages; and/or
  • a criminal prosecution.

These three types of proceedings have different objectives: the objective of a protective services investigation is to provide immediate help and relief to the victim and prevent further harm; the civil action is to seek compensation for damages; and the criminal prosecution is when the state seeks to punish the harmful conduct.

Under South Carolina law, physical abuse includes: slapping, hitting, kicking, biting, choking, pinching, burning, drugging a patient or confining a patient to control behavior. SEC. 43-35-10 A person does not have to inflict abuse to be held responsible for the physical abuse. One is culpable by allowing it to take place without doing anything to stop or prevent the abuse.

If your loved one has faced nursing home abuse, you do not have to suffer in silence. Contact the attorneys at the Strom Law Firm for a free, confidential consultation. We are here to help. 803.252.4800.

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