Owner of Nursing Home Charged with Neglect for Second Time in Eight Years

Falco mexicanus -Avian Conservation Center, near Charleston, South Carolina, USA-8aPolice in North Charleston, South Carolina arrested a nursing home owner on Thursday, April 12, 2012 after an inspection of the facility reportedly found extensive evidence of neglect. Andrea Magwood, age 68, is accused of neglecting vulnerable adults under her care. She went free on April 16 on a $250,000 bond. Her nursing home is currently closed, and authorities have transferred the thirteen residents to other facilities. Magwood faced a similar investigation and charges in 2004 relating to alleged abuse at the same facility.

The Governor’s Office of Ombudsman, the office charged with investigating reports of abuse or neglect in nursing homes, contacted North Charleston police on April 5 with concerns about the health of one of the residents. A 79 year-old resident of Magwood’s nursing home, Fair Havens Manor, had reportedly been admitted to the hospital. Doctors diagnosed him with severe dehydration and malnutrition, and they reportedly found a subdural hematoma on his head that possibly required surgery. Inspectors arrived at the home later on April 5. They reported finding mold clinging to the walls and cockroaches “crawling all over.” Residents allegedly received rotten food, and medications lacked labels or records that would indicate to which resident they belonged.

By April 12, North Charleston authorities had condemned the home’s two buildings and arrested Magwood. EMS personnel assisted police in removing the residents from the facility and taking them to a nearby hospital for medical assessment. From there, the residents would either receive medical care or be transferred to another facility.

Prosecutors charged Magwood with neglect of a vulnerable adult, a felony offense in South Carolina with a maximum penalty of five years in prison. State statutes also allow the attorney general’s office to being a civil action for a penalty of up to $30,000 for a nursing home owner who allegedly fails to protect residents from neglect. A judge set Magwood’s bond at $250,000 on April 13, and she reportedly left jail on Monday, April 16.

Magwood faced similar charges in 2004 when another resident reportedly suffered malnutrition and dehydration. Police raided the home, then known as Genesis Nursing Home, In June 2004 after a bank teller reported several large withdrawals by one of the residents while accompanied by Magwood. The teller also reported that the resident showed signs of physical abuse.

The 2004 allegations do not appear to have included disrepair in the buildings themselves. A volunteer working at the home at the time told the Charleston Post and Courier that Magwood was a “very caring person,” often buying clothes or preparing special meals for the residents. Magwood paid a $4,000 fine to resolve the 2004 case, and she was allowed to continue operating the nursing home.

Nursing homes have a legal responsibility for providing diligent care and a safe environment for their residents. The Maryland nursing home lawyers at Lebowitz and Mzhen help obtain compensation for people injured due to abuse or neglect by nursing home staff. For a free and confidential consultation, contact us today online or at (800) 654-1949.

More Blog Posts:

Proposed Maryland Legislation Would Increase Criminal Penalties for Elder Abuse, Maryland Nursing Home Lawyer Blog, March 16, 2012
Most Elder Deaths in Nursing Homes are Never Investigated, Maryland Nursing Home Lawyer Blog, January 2, 2012
Nursing Home Abuse Leads to Fines, Lawsuits in Michigan, Maryland Nursing Home Lawyer Blog, December 27, 2011
Photo credit: ‘Falco mexicanus -Avian Conservation Center, near Charleston, South Carolina, USA-8a’ by DickDaniels (http://carolinabirds.org/) (Own work) [GFDL or CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons.

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