Earlier this month in Brooklyn, New York, prosecutors filed charges against an employee at a nursing home after it was discovered that the employee had abused an 82-year-old dementia patient. According to one local news report, the employee was criminally charged with endangering the welfare of an incompetent or physically disabled person, which is a felony offense. The employee is charged with accompanying misdemeanor charges relating to the incident as well.
Evidently, the woman was seen on video abusing and humiliating the man as she was bathing him. Video evidence allegedly shows her hitting him several times with her own fists, throwing water on his face and chest, and making him hit himself in the face with his hand repeatedly. The New York Attorney General told reporters that he plans on prosecuting the case, and all cases like it, explaining that “When families make the difficult decision to place the care of their loved ones in the hands of a nursing home, they expect them to be treated with compassion and respect—not abused and mistreated.”
Maryland Nursing Home Abuse
While this disturbing account occurred in New York, similar incidents occur here in Maryland on a frequent basis. It is estimated that one in 10 nursing home residents will endure some kind of abuse at some point during their stay. For many people, the abuse involves verbal humiliation and degrading conduct, but for others it involves physical abuse.
When a nursing home employee is discovered to have physically abused a resident under their care, criminal liability may arise, as indicated by the Attorney General’s statement above. However, in addition to criminal sanctions that may be brought by the local government, the family of an abused resident may consider bringing a civil lawsuit against the nursing home as well as the abusive employee.
Civil lawsuits brought by the families of abused nursing home residents may result in compensation for any medical expenses that were incurred as a result of the injuries sustained by the abuse. Damages for future medical expenses are also common when the abuse resulted in an ongoing condition that will require subsequent medical follow-up. In addition, there are often awards for the pain and suffering experienced by residents in an abusive situation. Finally, in extreme cases punitive damages may be appropriate to deter the intentional or particularly egregious behavior of nursing home employees.
Has Your Loved One Exhibited Signs of Nursing Home Abuse?
If you have a loved one at a Maryland nursing home and you believe that they are exhibiting the signs of abuse, take immediate action to document everything and ensure that you secure the safety of your loved one. As soon as your loved one is safe, contact one of the dedicated personal injury attorneys at the Maryland nursing home abuse law firm of Lebowitz & Mzhen, LLC. The dedicated attorneys at Lebowitz & Mzhen have the experience and dedication you need to feel comfortable putting your case in their hands. Call 410-654-3600 today to set up a free consultation.
See More Blog Posts:
Kentucky Nursing Home Required to Pay $18 Million in Wrongful Death Lawsuit, Maryland Nursing Home Lawyer Blog, published July 27, 2015.
Video Camera Installed By Loved Ones Catches Abusive Nurses in Action, Maryland Nursing Home Lawyer Blog, published August 13, 2015.