Earlier last month, a Syracuse, New York woman pleaded guilty to several charges stemming from her involvement in a cover-up that attempted to hide several instances of sexual abuse and other failings at the nursing home at which she was employed. According to one local news source, the woman, who was the director of the facility, pled guilty to two counts of tampering with evidence. Her sentence will be determined at a later date. She may face up to four years in jail for her role in the cover-up.
Evidently, the woman allegedly engaged in covering up failures by the nursing home, including destroying witness statements that explained several instances of sexual abuse between residents. The woman also admitted to concealing a patient’s medication history chart, which would have shown investigators that the nursing facility failed to provide one resident with physician-ordered medication. Finally, she admitted to hiding other medical records that tended to show patient neglect.
Investigators have cast a wide net in their investigation into the nursing home’s staff, and charges are pending against several other employees who may have been involved in the acts or the subsequent cover-up.
A Nursing Home’s Duty Extends Beyond Providing Care
It is no surprise that nursing homes are entrusted with the safety of their residents and are responsible for their residents’ well-being to some degree. Of course, this duty to protect and care for the resident is violated in cases of physical abuse, but the conduct need not rise to that extreme level to be considered a violation.
Nursing homes are responsible for the safety of their residents, and this includes protecting nursing home residents from perceived threats that are not necessarily caused by nursing home staff. For example, in the above case, the nursing home administration chose to cover up allegations of sexual abuse between residents rather than seek help for the victims and report the offenders. While there is no allegation that any of the staff members participated in the abuse, the fact that the administration took affirmative steps to cover up the abuse shows a willful disregard for resident safety.
When a resident is injured due to a lapse of care or supervision, a cause of action may arise against the nursing home for the injuries sustained by the resident. This cause of action may be brought by the resident themselves, or by the resident’s family in some circumstances. To learn more, contact a dedicated Maryland nursing home attorney.
Has Your Loved One Unnecessarily Suffered in a Maryland Nursing Home?
If you have a loved one in a Maryland nursing home and you believe that they have unnecessarily suffered due to the inadequate care they were provided, you may be entitled to monetary damages. Of course, a nursing home administration rarely concedes liability without a fight. To make sure that you understand what will be expected of you before you will be permitted to recover compensation, contact one of the skilled personal injury advocates at the Maryland law firm of Lebowitz & Mzhen Personal Injury Lawyers at 410-654-3600 today.
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.