Two Arizona CNAs Arrested for Nursing Home Abuse

nursinghome2.21.2013Reports of Injured 93-Year-Old Led to Two Former Employees’ Arrest and Nursing Home Abuse Charges

After a 93-year-old woman’s injuries were discovered in a Tuscon skilled nursing facility, two former employees were arrested on nursing home abuse charges.

According to the Pima County Sheriff’s Department, the woman was a resident of the Asterion Acres Home. Staff notified police about the abuse, and a deputy, after seeing the woman’s injuries, arranged to transport her to a hospital.

The staff reported that the 93-year-old woman was the victim of abuse from two employees on separate but multiple occasions. According to reports, both employees struck the woman with their open hands or fists, and threw objects at her, including a remote control.

Staff added that the woman had been thrown onto her bed and into her wheelchair repeatedly.

Police were informed that the two employees had been taken off the schedule and were not currently working at the facility. State investigators took over and ensured that other residents of the nursing home had not suffered abuse. No other staff members were involved in the nursing home abuse charges.

Both suspects were arrested on nursing home abuse charges. Annuhar Jesus Ruiz, 29, was arrested on Tuesday, July 16th, and Elisa Moreno, 67, was arrested on Wednesday, July 17th. They were both booked into the Pima County Adult Detention Center.

The suspects’ nursing home abuse charges are both felonies.

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 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.

The Strom Law Defends Victims of Nursing Home 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.