Nursing Home Aid Faces Manslaughter Charges in Elder Abuse Case

shutterstock_36734245After Arraignment, Former Aid’s Charges Upgraded from Elder Abuse to Manslaughter

A former nursing home worker, who was accused of elder abuse after an incident last year, now faces manslaughter charges after her arraignment on Wednesday, July 17th.

Maureen Flowers is accused of negligence in the death of 86-year-old Sinia Malone, who was a bed-ridden resident of the Tarrytown Hall Care Center. Reportedly, Flowers attempted to move Malone from the bed to the wheelchair, by herself, which is against regulations. Flowers dropped Malone, who suffered serious injuries that led to her death. Rather than immediately seek medical assistance for the victim, Flowers tried to convince another nursing aid to say she had been assisting Flowers in the transfer.

Tarrytown Hall Care Center requires two nursing aids and the use of a lift to move bed-ridden patients from their beds to chairs.

Malone died on February 15th, 2012, after Flowers dropped her. The impact broke her spine, her right leg, and fractured her nose. She was transported to Westchester Hospital, where she died.

Also implicated in the elder abuse and manslaughter charges is Donna Pagan, who agreed to lie and say that she was helping Flowers transfer the patient when Malone was dropped.

“Because of this aide’s disregard of basic safety measures and precautions meant to protect the vulnerable seniors she served, a woman died,” said State Attorney General Schneiderman, in a press release.

Flowers was initially charged with endangering the welfare of a vulnerable elderly person, which is a felony, as well as falsifying business records and willful violation of health laws. At her arraignment on Wednesday, however, the charges were upgraded to manslaughter and negligence related to elder abuse. If convicted, she faces up to 15 years in prison.

“The egregious lack of care afforded this frail resident warrants the serious charges against this aide,” said Schneiderman. “It is my office’s duty and obligation to investigate and prosecute those that place our seniors at risk.”

Pagan pleaded guilty in March to misdemeanor charges of falsifying business records. She faces up to three years’ probation.

“I hope and pray that no one else has to go through what we’ve gone through,” said Rev. Lee Thompson, the victim’s son.

“Something was wrong, and they were trying to cover-up what had taken place,” Thompson added. “If they do it to mine, why wouldn’t they do it to yours.”

Signs of Elder Abuse:

Nursing home residents suffering from physical abuse by their caregivers (home caregivers, family member caregivers) may show:

  • bruises, welts, burns
  • unexplained fractures or other physical injuries
  • repeated accidents
  • injuries left untreated
  • references to caregiver’s temper or anger
  • nervous or quiet around caregiver
  • runs away from the home or tries to
  • has marks or scars from restraints on wrists
  • shows effects of chemical restraints such as incoherence, grogginess, excessive sleep
  • sudden fear, restlessness, anxiety
  • prevented from getting medical treatment or being alone with visitors

Take Action:

First, report the elder abuse signs or events to Adult Protective Services. APS is responsible for investigating and restoring an environment of proper care. If your loved one has sustained mental or physical damage, contact an experienced attorney to investigate avenues of financial recovery and punitive damages. At Strom Law Firm, LLC., we offer a complimentary case evaluation. We’ll fight for you or your loved one, so you can focus on the recovery process.

The Attorneys at the Strom Law Firm Prosecute Elder Abuse

If your loved one has physically suffered, or died wrongfully, because an in-home caregiver or registered nurse in a nursing home has neglected the patient, you may have an elder abuse case. The attorneys at the Strom Law Firm understand the sensitive nature of elder abuse cases, and will treat you with respect and compassion. It is important to fight elder abuse so you, your family, and others no longer suffer because of criminal behavior. We offer free, confidential consultations to discuss the facts of your case. Contact us today for help.803.252.4800