Earlier this month in Lackawanna County, Pennsylvania, a young man faced criminal charges for the alleged abuse of a nursing home resident back in October of last year. According to one local news report, the young man was seen holding the door shut while an elderly patient was trying to get out of her room.
Evidently, the young man was also seen dragging the victim by her arms and wrists. According to court documents, the woman had the bruises to prove such abuse occurred.
The alleged abuser’s defense attorney claims that his client, who is 24 years old, was only listening to older, more experienced employees at the time and should not be held criminally responsible for the event. However, the prosecution has subpoenaed the video tape that supposedly caught the entire interaction on film. The videotape, prosecutors claim, clearly shows that he is not merely a loyal employee listening to supervisors, but was engaging in the intentional abuse of the resident.
Not only did the prosecution have video evidence of abuse, they also had an eyewitness testify to the abuse. A certified nurses aid who was present at the time of the event took the stand to testify to what she saw.
Video Evidence in Nursing Home Cases
The United States Supreme Court has held that nursing home residents (or their families) are permitted to video tape what goes on in a resident’s room, regardless of whether the nursing home or its employees know that they are being recorded. The caveat, however, is that the video cannot contain audio.
This type of video evidence can be crucial in a nursing home case, where it is often one party’s word against the others. It is likely the most persuasive evidence that can be presented to a judge or jury
Eyewitness Testimony in Nursing Home Cases
If there is no video evidence available, an eyewitness account may be the next most persuasive type of evidence. While the credibility of an eyewitness may come into play at a trial, having someone say that they saw the abuse certainly can persuade a judge or jury. An eyewitness’ testimony is even more valuable if the person is an unbiased observer, rather than a relative, friend, or fellow nursing-home resident.
Has Your Loved One Been Victimized in a Maryland Nursing Home?
If you have a loved one in a Maryland nursing home, and you believe that he or she is being abused or neglected, you may be entitled to monetary compensation to help you cover your loved one’s related medical expenses and, in the case of his or her death, to compensate you for your loss. Each year, thousands of nursing home residents are neglected or abused, and the nursing home employees who engaged in the abuse are often not held accountable because of lapses in communication, failures to report, and other unfortunate circumstances. If your loved one is reporting that they are being abused or neglected, take the threat seriously and contact a dedicated nursing home attorney at 410-654-3600 to set up a free consultation.
See More Blog Posts:
Nursing Home Video Catches Employees Abusing Elderly Patients, Maryland Nursing Home Lawyer Blog, published December 5, 2014.
Alabama Nursing Home Employee Indicted for Abusing 96-Year-Old Resident, Maryland Nursing Home Lawyer Blog, published January 23, 2014.