A former nursing home aide in Ohio has pleaded guilty to seven criminal charges related to evidence that she abused a patient in her care. Another aide is scheduled to go to trial in January on one count of abusing the same patient. Evidence of abuse was captured on hidden cameras placed by the resident’s son in her room. At least four employees of the nursing home lost their jobs as a result of alleged abuse of this particular resident.
According to reporting by the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Steve Piskor moved his mother, Esther Piskor, into a nursing home operated by MetroHealth Medical Center in March 2009. He quickly became concerned about her condition and the quality of care the nursing home was providing to her. He made daily visits to her and reported finding her sitting in her wheelchair in soiled clothing and with unusual markings on her face. He made four complaints to the nursing home over the next two years, all of which he says met with little to no response.
Piskor placed a camera in his mother’s room in plain view, but workers reportedly placed a towel over it when they entered the room. In April 2011, Piskor took it upon himself to install a hidden camera in her room, with a posted notice indicating the camera’s presence, but not its location. Within two days, he says he had evidence of abuse.
He notified the nursing home administration, as well as Cleveland police. Police brought charges against several employees shown in the videos, and the Ohio attorney general’s office has gotten involved as well. Piskor’s attorney expressed concern at the apparent lack of concern among many administrators upon seeing the videos. MetroHealth has stated that one aide, the one who just pleaded guilty to seven criminal offense, was suspended less than thirty minutes after administrators reviewed the videos. The company declined to comment to the media, but issued a statement apologizing for the treatment of Esther Piskor and noting that several employees had been terminated.
Among the instances of abuse caught on camera are rough handling of Esther Piskor, aides shoving her into a chair, and pushing a hand into her face. Another aide is shown spraying something in her face. Piskor moved his mother to a different nursing home in September 2011.
The situation has led to multiple court cases. At least two former employees face criminal charges. Former aide Virgen Caraballo pleaded guilty in late November to seven counts of patient abuse and neglect after Piskor produced evidence of her pushing and shoving his mother. Another aide, Maria Karban, faces one count of abuse for the alleged spraying incident. Piskor has also filed a civil lawsuit on behalf of himself and his mother against MetroHealth and the nursing home administrator in Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court.
The Maryland nursing home lawyers at Lebowitz and Mzhen help obtain compensation for people injured due to abuse by nursing home staff. Contact the firm today for a free and confidential consultation.
More Blog Posts:
“Granny Cam” Technology May Be Effective at Deterring Nursing Home Abuse, Maryland Nursing Home Lawyer, September 20, 2011
Nursing Home Aides Found Guilty of Elder Abuse by Engaging in Prank with Dementia Residents, Maryland Nursing Home Lawyer, August 18, 2011
Hidden Camera Investigation Leads to Nursing Home Abuse Charges for Nurses, Aides, Maryland Nursing Home Lawyer, October 1, 2010