Each year, it is estimated that nearly five million elderly adults may experience some level of abuse, exploitation, or neglect. In addition, official reports are only made for one in every five cases of elder abuse.
With this in mind, sending our loved ones to a nursing home can often be an extremely stressful and challenging process. After all, you are entrusting the care and well-being of your family members and loved ones to a nursing home facility and its staff. Sometimes, even with due diligence and research into facilities, instances of nursing home and elderly abuse can take place. When these incidents happen, it is crucial that those who are responsible are held accountable for taking advantage of our loved ones.
According to a recent news release, a certified nursing assistant was charged with sexually assaulting two elderly residents at a nursing home during his overnight shifts. As a caretaker, the certified nursing assistant was responsible for changing, bathing, feeding, toileting, and helping as needed with incontinent residents at nursing facilities. An investigation by local authorities revealed that the certified nursing assistant allegedly sexually assaulted two elderly female residents by acting under the guise of providing assistance with washing or toileting, only to instead use it as an opportunity to sexually assault them. The nursing assistant was indicted on multiple criminal charges, such as indecent assault and battery upon an elder.
Does Maryland Have Elder Abuse Laws?
Yes, Maryland, like other states, has explicit laws that protect our elders from abuse. For example, Maryland requires mandatory reporting from health practitioners, police officers, and human service workers who have reason to believe that an elderly individual is in danger. If these individuals are working as a staff member in a hospital or a public health agency, they are also required to immediately notify the head of the program or institution. The law, like other elderly abuse-related laws across the country, is designed to prevent and address potential exploitation or abuse of elders in Maryland.
In Maryland, elderly individuals who experience abuse or injury to the body or mind due to negligence could have grounds to file a personal injury lawsuit in addition to any criminal charges that may take place. Nursing facility staff and caretakers have a duty to protect and care for elderly residents and breach their duty to do so when they abuse residents. If their actions cause the elderly individual injury, many elderly individuals who experience abuse or assault in nursing facilities may have grounds to file a personal injury claim for compensation or monetary damages. Potential plaintiffs are advised to look into filing a personal injury claim in addition to criminal charges the state brings because an indictment of the alleged abuser does not guarantee a conviction or provide any monetary compensation for the victim.
Do You Need a Maryland Nursing Home Lawyer?
If you or someone you love has not received quality care at a Maryland nursing facility, you should contact the attorneys at Lebowitz & Mzhen for assistance. Our attorneys have recovered more than $55 million for our clients and have represented many individuals and families in nursing home abuse and negligence claims. To schedule a free initial consultation, contact us at 800-654-1949.