An employee of an Ohio nursing home has been convicted of felony charges of elder abuse after she physically assaulted a defenseless 85-year-old female nursing home resident, who was left bloodied and injured after an incident in the victim’s bedroom. According to a local news report, the defendant is currently incarcerated for other unrelated criminal charges and will be sentenced on the abuse charge in early 2017. Other residents of the same nursing home have also reported physical abuse by the same woman in separate incidents, leading to questions regarding the role of the nursing home management and other staff in detecting and addressing the abuse of residents by nursing home employees and assistants.
The recent abuse conviction was the result of an incident that occurred in March 2016 at a Chillicothe, Ohio nursing facility. Earlier this month, a former nursing home employee pleaded guilty to felony abuse charges for beating an 85-year-old woman in her room after the resident was reportedly “acting belligerent” and calling the defendant names.
After the assault occurred, the nursing home released a statement that the employee was a state-tested nursing assistant and should not have been alone in the resident’s room with her. The nursing home stated that they terminated the woman’s employment once the abuse was reported, but according to a Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services report that was prepared by government investigators, several other residents reported being abused by the woman, and the nursing home failed to prevent such acts of abuse, resulting in actual harm to at least one resident.
Nursing Homes Have the Responsibility to Detect and Address Abuse By Their Employees
Although not every single act of abuse cannot be detected or prevented, nursing homes and long-term care facilities have a duty to protect their residents from abuse by employees, nurses, and aides. Elderly nursing home residents are in an especially vulnerable position, since they are often unable to defend themselves and may face physical or mental limitations. The management and staff of nursing homes must be diligent in addressing claims of abuse by residents or loved ones, and they cannot ignore evidence of abuse only because it has not been previously reported.
Victims of Abuse and Their Families Have a Right to Stop the Abuse and Obtain Compensation for Prior Acts of Abuse
Nursing home management may be accountable for acts of abuse even if the abusive employee has been fired or reassigned after the abuse occurred. As soon as evidence of abuse meets a certain threshold, an employee must be removed from providing direct care to residents or patients. If a nursing home knowingly or intentionally allows a staff member who is not authorized to provide personal care to residents access to their rooms, and abuse occurs, a civil action for damages may be appropriate. To maximize their chances for relief and compensation, victims of nursing home abuse and their families should consult with skilled legal counsel who is familiar with nursing home abuse lawsuits as soon as they suspect abuse is occurring.
Maryland Nursing Home Abuse and Prescription Error Attorneys
If you or a loved one has suffered from an illness or injury while a resident at a nursing home and think it may have been caused by negligence or abuse, you may be entitled to financial compensation or other relief. The Maryland nursing home abuse lawyers at Lebowitz & Mzhen Personal Injury Lawyers can offer advice and representation for your nursing home abuse claim at no up-front cost to you. Our skilled Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. attorneys can hold nursing homes and their employees accountable for negligent or intentional conduct that placed your loved ones at risk. At Lebowitz & Mzhen, we represent clients in Maryland, Northern Virginia, and the Washington, D.C. area in all types of nursing home abuse, negligence, and malpractice cases. Contact us by calling toll-free at 1-800-654-1949 or through our online form to schedule a no-obligation consultation to discuss your case today.
More Blog Posts:
Prescription Drug Errors May Be Concealed by Nursing Home Management or Staff, Maryland Nursing Home Lawyer Blog, published December 14, 2016.
State Passes Bill Providing Cameras in Nursing Home Facilities in Hopes of Decreasing Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect, Maryland Nursing Home Lawyer Blog, published December 21, 2016.