Earlier this month, a Michigan man was arrested and charged with Abuse of a Vulnerable Adult for the alleged abuse of a nursing home resident at the home where he worked. According to a local Michigan news report, the resident suffered from dementia and had only been at the nursing home facility for six days before the abuse occurred.
Evidently, the abusive employee became frustrated with the Alzheimer’s patient and began to get violent. In fact, the employee recently confessed to “punching, pushing, [and] sitting on [the resident] five times during his shift of March 11, 2015 when he was agitated with [the resident].” The abuse resulted in deep purplish-blue bruises on the resident’s back, chest, chin and torso. The abusive employee faces up to two years in prison as a maximum sentence.
According to the article mentioned above, the very same nursing home was fined almost $15,000 just two years ago for several incidents, including the death of one patient who allegedly didn’t receive CPR when he should have.
Nursing Home Abuse in Maryland
This instance of abuse took place in Michigan, but these incidents are common in Maryland as well. In fact, Maryland has a similar law to the one used to prosecute the abusive Michigan employee, called “Abuse or Neglect of a Vulnerable Adult.” This law, listed in Maryland Code §3-604, provides for criminal penalties of up to 10 years in jail if a person is convicted.
In addition to criminal consequences, those who have committed elder abuse may also face civil liability to the victim and potentially the victim’s family. Nursing homes and their employees are expected to provide a certain level of care. When a nursing home employee abuses a resident or neglects a resident’s basic human needs, this duty is violated, and the aggrieved individual can seek compensation for their injuries.
Proving a Violation of the Duty of Care
Before a nursing home resident or their family can recover from a negligent or abusive nursing home, they must first establish that a negligent (or abusive) act of a nursing home employee caused some kind of injury to the nursing home resident. This can be proven in a number of ways and does not necessarily require eyewitness testimony. For example, there may be video of an abusive situation. If no physical evidence exists, recovery may still be permitted based on circumstantial evidence of the abuse or neglect. If you have additional questions, contact a dedicated Maryland nursing home attorney.
Has Your Loved One Been Harmed in a Maryland Nursing Home?
If you have a loved one in a Maryland nursing home and you are concerned about their safety, the first thing you should do is to ensure that they are in a safe place. After they are in a safe place, free from abuse and neglect, contact a dedicated nursing home negligence attorney at the Maryland personal injury law firm of Lebowitz & Mzhen, LLC. The skilled advocates at Lebowitz & Mzhen have years of experience successfully holding abusive nursing homes responsible for their actions. Call 410-654-3600 today to set up a free consultation with an attorney.
See More Blog Posts:
Family of Nursing Home Resident Sues Facility After Accusations of Rape Substantiated, Maryland Nursing Home Lawyer Blog, published February 27, 2015.
Sexual Assault of Elders Occurs Most Often in Nursing Homes in Maryland, Nationwide, Maryland Nursing Home Lawyer Blog, published March 26, 2015.