Two recent incidents involving assaults on Maryland nursing home residents have led to indictments for abuse and assault. The incidents occurred in different facilities in nearby towns, but both involve nursing home employees allegedly assaulting vulnerable residents. The cases demonstrate the importance of vigilantly protecting the rights of nursing home residents who may find themselves helpless against the unscrupulous or criminal behavior of a few employees who might take advantage of that helplessness.
In the first case, a caregiver at a nursing home in Lutherville, Maryland is accused of stealing $80 from a blind 94 year-old resident, as reported by the Lutherville-Timonium Patch. According to court documents, the employee entered the resident’s room by pretending to be a different employee who had come to turn on the air-conditioning unit. She asked the resident, who in addition to being blind needs a hearing aid, to borrow money. The man told her no, at which point she allegedly tried to take his wallet from his pocket. She threw him out of his bed and onto the ground when he resisted her. When the man screamed for help, another employee intervened.
The employee denied allegations of theft and assault to police investigators that day. The next day, however, she turned herself in to the police. She has been charged with robbery, theft, and second-degree assault. She has also lost her job at the nursing home. The nursing director told the newspaper that if she is convicted, the Maryland Board of Nursing could take steps to keep her from ever working in a nursing home again. The robbery charge is a felony, assault in the second degree and theft of less than $1,000 are misdemeanors. She faces up to 15 years imprisonment for the robbery charge alone.
The second case involves a nursing home in Timonium, Maryland. A geriatric nursing assistant has been charged with abuse of a vulnerable adult in the second degree, neglect of a vulnerable adult in the second degree, and assault in the second degree. Each charge is a misdemeanor under Maryland law. An investigation by the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, part of the Maryland Attorney General’s office, and the Maryland State Police originated from a referral from the Baltimore County Police Department. The alleged assault occurred in October 2010. Fewer details are available on this case, since it has only recently been filed. The employee is alleged to have assaulted an 84 year-old resident of the nursing home. Each of her charges are misdemeanors, and she faces up to 10 years in prison.
The Maryland Board of Nursing and other state agencies, along with the criminal justice system, can pursue wrongdoers by prosecuting them and suspending or revoking their licenses, but nursing home residents injured by their actions also need to have their damages compensated. The law allows civil claims against both the perpetrators of abuse and, under certain circumstances, their employers, to recover the cost of medical care for injuries and other damages.
The Maryland nursing home lawyers at Lebowitz and Mzhen help obtain compensation for people injured due to abuse by nursing home staff. Contact the firm today for a free and confidential consultation.
More Blog Posts:
Former Schoolteacher Sues Nursing Home For Elder Abuse, Maryland Nursing Home Lawyer Blog, August 30, 2011
Florida Nursing Homes Investigated for Severe Abuse and Negligence, Maryland Nursing Home Lawyer Blog, June 3, 2011
Nursing Home Aide Receives Prison Sentence for Sexual Abuse, Maryland Nursing Home Lawyer Blog, May 31, 2011