Trial has reportedly begun in the case of a former nursing home employee accused of assaulting a patient last November.
The defendant pleaded not guilty earlier this year to the charge of abuse of a disabled adult. She faces up to two years in prison if convicted. The charges stem from allegations that the woman abused a 76 year old resident while giving the woman medication last November. Specific allegations include claims that the defendant pulled the patient by her hair, used a knee to pin down the patient’s legs, and squeezed her chest. She reportedly also hit the patient in the face with water from the cup or pitcher on the patient’s bedside stand. The entire ordeal was apparently related to the defendant trying to get the patient to take her pills.
The woman’s defense attorney said that the patient was disoriented and startled when the defendant woke her up, and that she has struggled with memory problems.
Unfortunately, the woman’s alleged actions in this case are not uncommon. The patients most often abused in nursing homes and assisted living facilities are typically those who are the most defenseless, and those less likely to be able to report the abuse. Alzheimer’s patients and those suffering from dementia or other memory impairment issues typically fall within this category.
Additionally, in many cases, due to the high levels of stress involved in caring for elderly patients in need of constant care, which are typically not very well paid, and in many cases understaffed, it becomes clearer how these instances of abuse are becoming more common. They are still, however, inexcusable.
In this case, the state where the patient was abused is prosecuting the former employee under criminal proceedings. Criminal charges are intended to punish wrongdoers for their actions. Many times, however, a separate civil suit may be possible in order to attempt to compensate the victim for their injuries or other damages.
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.” If your loved one has been subjected to any actions which you believe fit within that definition, then you may be able to bring a nursing home abuse civil lawsuit.
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 nursing home neglect or abuse, contact the experienced nursing home abuse and neglect attorneys at Lebowitz & Mzhen, LLC immediately. It is important that you do not ignore your intuitions, as in many cases abuse is not merely an isolated incident or two, but rather indicative of an underlying systematic schema. 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:
Another Case of Nursing Home Abuse Caught on Hidden Camera, Yet No Charges Filed, Maryland Nursing Home Lawyer Blog, published September 13, 2013
Nursing Home Abuse Case Evolved into Homicide Investigation, Nursing Home Lawyer Blog, published September 6, 2013