Recently, NBC10 Philadelphia reported that two former workers at a nursing home in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, were arrested after being caught on camera abusing a resident. Nursing home abuse and neglect are unfortunately common occurrences, but rarely do victims have the benefit of direct evidence as here.
According to the story, the daughter of the victim was concerned about the treatment her mother was receiving at the nursing home, so she installed hidden cameras to monitor the room. When she reviewed what was captured on camera, the abuse was indisputable, the news article reports. Both workers are reportedly charged with neglect of a care dependent person, reckless endangerment, simple assault, and harassment.
It should not be incumbent on the friends and relatives of nursing home residents to oversee the care. Nursing homes owe their residents a duty of care, and abuse or negligence by the workers is an unmitigated breach of that duty. Often, friends and family members must rely on circumstantial evidence of abuse or neglect, such as the appearance of unusual activity in bank accounts and credit cards, unexplained bruises and scratches, or bedsores. None of these alone is conclusive evidence of abuse or neglect, but if you see any of this, you should be alert to the possibility.
Although the placement of hidden cameras in this situation appears to have led to a positive outcome, such is not always the case. The recording of individuals without their knowledge or permission violates Maryland state law. Although it might be tempting to do so, particularly if you suspect that people are taking advantage of a friend or loved one, you should pursue lawful means of ascertaining the facts.
Even if nursing homes were to install surveillance cameras to protect its residents from abuse and neglect, that too could lead to unforeseen negative consequences. Just as we’ve seen with the Transportation Security Administration’s abuse of full-body scanners, the workers charged with monitoring the cameras could use them for nefarious purposes.
If you suspect that a friend or loved one is being subjected to abuse or neglect in a nursing home or other assisted care facility, a Maryland nursing home neglect attorney can help you decide an appropriate and legal course of action. An experienced attorney can piece together the evidence and develop a strategy to pursue legal action.
At Lebowitz & Mzhen, we understand how difficult it can be to fear that someone is taking advantage of someone we love. That is why we are dedicated to providing compassionate and competent legal counsel people throughout Maryland who have been injured due to the negligent or intentional actions others. To schedule your free confidential consultation, call us toll-free at 800-654-1949, or contact us online.
Related Blog Posts:
Nurse’s Aide Gets Five Years in Prison for Stealing Nursing Home Residents’ Wedding Bands, Maryland Nursing Home Lawyer Blog, October 11, 2012
Maryland Federal District Court Allows Claim for False Imprisonment to Proceed Against Nursing Home and Hospital, Maryland Nursing Home Lawyer Blog, September 18, 2012