Earlier this month in Illinois, a jury heard a criminal case against a man charged with aggravated battery after his involvement in alleged nursing home abuse. According to one local Illinois news report, the man was acquitted of all charges after the jury deliberated for 90 minutes.
Evidently, the man was charged with aggravated battery after he allegedly struck a 64-year-old nursing home resident in June of last year. The prosecution put up an eyewitness to the alleged abuse that testified that she saw the defendant strike a resident with a closed fist and then heard the resident ask why he was being hit. The resident began crying after he was hit by the defendant.
However, the credibility of the eyewitness was called into question by the defense, since apparently the defendant had turned down sexual advances from the eyewitness not long before the instance of abuse was reported.
The defendant’s account of the events differed widely from that of the witness. The defendant claimed that the resident slipped from his hands as he was moving him, and that he accidentally struck the right side of the man’s face with his open palm. This matched exactly what he told investigators on the day of the event.
The resident was taken to the hospital, where it was discovered that he had severe bruising around his right ear, dried fluid on his ear, and a small tear in his right ear drum.
Civil Versus Criminal Charges in Maryland Nursing Home Cases
The case described above took place in a criminal court. These charges were brought forth by the state in which the alleged abuse took place. If the defendant was to be found guilty, it would have to be “beyond a reasonable doubt” and would result in criminal consequences such as jail time, probation, and court costs.
However, in addition to criminal charges, perpetrators of nursing home abuse may also have civil lawsuits brought against them by the victims themselves. This type of case must be proven by a “preponderance of the evidence,” which is a much lower standard. Therefore, it is possible that a case resulting in an acquittal in a criminal trial may result in the very same defendant being found liable in a civil cause of action. To learn more about Maryland nursing home negligence cases, contact a dedicated Maryland personal injury attorney today.
Has Your Loved One Suffered in the Hands of Those Charged with Caring for Them?
If you have a loved one in a Maryland nursing home and you believe that they are being mistreated or abused, they may be entitled to monetary compensation. If the alleged abuse resulted in the death of your loved one, you may be able to bring a wrongful death suit against those responsible. To learn more about nursing home abuse, and what you can do to help your loved one recover financially for what they have been put through, contact one of the dedicated nursing home attorneys at the Maryland law firm of Lebowitz & Mzhen Personal Injury Lawyers. The skilled team of lawyers at Lebowitz & Mzhen have decades of collective experience seeking justice for nursing home residents injured by those who are supposed to be caring for them. Call 410-654-3600 today to set up a free initial 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.