Another seemingly egregious case of nursing home abuse has been captured on hidden camera.
A Canadian man set up a hidden camera in his mother’s room at a home in Ontario for a period of three weeks due to suspicions that she was being abused or neglected. One instance that prompted his action was when his mother, a dementia patient, developed a black eye, and employees were unable to provide an explanation for the injury.
Once he reviewed the footage, the man found employees handing his 85 year old mother roughly, and in one case an employee reportedly shoved a feces-covered rag in her face after using it to clean her bottom. A different employee was captured blowing her nose in the woman’s sheet. While four employees were ultimately fired following suspension after health officials conducted investigations, police stated that they would not bring criminal charges.
Understandably, the man who captured the video is incensed at the law enforcement officials’ decision not to pursue criminal charges. He stated in an interview his opinion that the same sort of abuse if committed against children would not be allowed to go unpunished. However, all hope is not lost.
If your loved one has been neglected or abused while living in a nursing home or assisted living facility, you likely have a separate civil claim for either personal injury or wrongful death, as the circumstances of the abuse or negligent treatment indicate. While criminal prosecution is intended to punish a wrongdoer, a civil lawsuit’s purpose is to compensate the victim or the victim’s family for their injury or loss. Therefore, the man in this case likely has a strong claim not only against the individuals involved in the abuse, but also against the home where it happened for not having a system in place to prevent these sorts of abuses.
While the abuse in this case took place in Canada, in recent months the U.S. has also seen a string of nursing home abuse captured on hidden camera. Federal law defines nursing home abuse as, “the willful infliction of injury, unreasonable confinement, intimidation, or punishment with resulting physical harm, pain or mental anguish.” In this case, there could potentially be claims for several of these different types of abuse.
In Maryland, nursing homes are overseen by the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. Additionally, the Code of Maryland Regulations provides a strict set of regulations, which all licensed nursing homes in the state must abide by. One such requirement states that all nursing homes within Maryland must have have a set of policies and procedures in place that will prevent abuse and neglect of its residents. A failure to have these policies in place can potentially serve as a basis for a lawsuit against the nursing home.
If you suspect that an elderly friend or relative living in a nursing home or assisted living facility within the Maryland or the Washington D.C. areas might be suffering from neglect or abuse, contact the experienced nursing home abuse and neglect attorneys at Lebowitz & Mzhen, LLC immediately. The attorneys at our law firm understand how difficult nursing home abuse allegations may be for you and your loved one, and we are here to help. Contact us today in order to schedule your complimentary and confidential initial consultation. You can reach us by calling (800) 654-1949 or contact us through our website.
More Blog Posts:
Nursing Home Abuse Case Evolved into Homicide Investigation, Maryland Nursing Home Lawyer Blog, published September 6, 2013
Man in Nursing Home Dies After Police Tase Him, Maryland Nursing Home Lawyer Blog, published August 2013