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The attorneys at Gallivan & Gallivan provide effective, aggressive representation to individuals injured in the New York area. Our priority is to maximize the recovery of our clients injured due to the neglect of others.

Claire Weiland, a receptionist at Livingston Hills Nursing Home in Columbia County, was arrested for stealing over $6,000 from the resident trust account at the nursing home where she worked. Attorney General Eric Schneiderman stated that the exploitation of nursing home residents for personal gains will not be tolerated. Residents entrust their funds to the care of the staff of the home for safekeeping and are being abused in return.
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Certified Nurse Assistant, Fiona Jennings, was arrested on charges of endangering the welfare of a nursing home resident at Schuyler Ridge Residential Healthcare. The resident was a 74 year old woman prone to falls due to her recent knee fracture. Jennings failed to properly care for the resident resulting in bruising and swelling to her forehead as well as two black eyes.
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The New York Supreme Court, Appellate Division, First Department affirmed a trial judge’s order that granted the defendant’s motion for summary judgment, dismissing a medical malpractice complaint.

The plaintiff was prescribed Lipitor and Azithromycin. Lipitor is FDA-approved to treat high cholesterol. Azithromycin is an anti-biotic used to treat bacterial infections. The plaintiff later suffered from bradycardia. Bradycardia is a slower than normal heart rate. The heart sends electrical signals between the upper and lower chambers of the heart that instruct the heart to contract. This is referred to as a heart beat. The upper chamber is called the atria, and the lower chamber is called the ventricle. When these electrical signals are blocked, the blockage is known as an atrioventricular block. Atrioventricular block can lead to fainting, dizziness, shortness of breath, and chest pain. The slowed heart beat can also lead to heart attack and death.

The plaintiff in this case suffered from atrioventricular block. He then filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against the prescribing physician, alleging that the two prescription medications had caused her condition. The defendant filed a motion for summary judgment, alleging that the plaintiff had failed to raise a triable issue of fact by failing to meet the requirements of medical malpractice lawsuits in New York. The trial judge agreed and dismissed the case. The plaintiff appealed, and the First Department affirmed the trial judge’s decision.

When a defendant doctor files a motion for summary judgment in a medical malpractice lawsuit, he must establish in his motion that he has a prima facie entitlement to judgment as a matter of law because he used accepted medical practices to treat the plaintiff. Doctors owe a duty of care to their patients. This duty is to provide good and accepted medical treatment to their patients. If a doctor deviated from this treatment, either by employing a radical and unpopular treatment or by failing to act, the doctor can be liable for medical malpractice injuries.

Medical malpractice lawsuits require medical evidence and expert testimony. Not only must the medical records be examined and analyzed, but an expert will need to testify at trial and state whether, based on their expertise, the defendant had breached the duty of care. Because medicine is a very complex profession that requires years of education and training, courts rely on these medical experts to educate the jury on what exactly is accepted medical practice.

In a motion, the defendant can support his or her defense through affidavits, medical records, reports, and more. If the doctor meets the burden and establishes he did not depart from good and accepted medical practices, then the burden shifts to the plaintiff to show that there is a triable issue of fact in the case. This rebuttal also requires medical evidence that demonstrates both that the treatment departed from accepted medical practices and that this departure proximately caused the defendant’s injuries. If the plaintiff submits the opinion of a qualified expert and that opinion states that the injuries were indeed the product of a departure from accepted medical practices, then the motion for summary judgment will be denied, and the case will proceed to trial.

However, if the plaintiff’s expert’s opinion falls outside accepted medical practice, it will be given no weight. Under what is known as the Frye test, scientific theories or medical procedures will only be accepted by the court as valid if they are generally accepted by the medical or scientific community. If the expert’s opinion is unproven or not accepted by peers, the court cannot rely on that opinion for the basis of the plaintiff’s opposition.

Here, the plaintiff’s expert stated that the combination of Lipitor and Azithromycin caused heart block. The plaintiff also submitted case studies and articles that stated that some individuals suffer side effects from the two drugs. However, none of the cases linked the drugs to heart block. In addition, the court does not rely on case studies in making its decision. The Court found that the expert’s opinion was not accepted in the medical community and was instead premised upon case studies that found no causal connection. As such, the doctor’s motion for summary judgment was properly granted.

If you or a loved one suffered an injury during a medical operation or while in the hands of a doctor or nurse, you may have a valid medical malpractice claim. Call Gallivan & Gallivan to discuss your right to compensation.

Pullman v. Silverman, 125 AD3d 562 (1st Dept. 2015).

Nursing homes are restricted in the amount of Medicare dollars they receive from federal and state governments. In addition, a large portion of their income is generated by payments from residents for services and stays. Rather than increasing the level of care and access to medical personnel, some nursing homes have focused their attention on increasing unnecessary luxuries to attract more residents.

In 2011 alone, Medicare paid $2.8 billion towards hospital bills for infected bedsore that required her to be hospitalized.

Experts have labeled this bait-and-switch the “chandelier effect” because the nursing home will promise bells and whistles and instead continue to deliver sub-par care for high prices. By focusing on unnecessary luxuries, nursing homes are unable to provide the residents with what they really need – competent medical care. A resident enticed by the attractive amenities will soon find that they will be unable to enjoy any of the amenities if they don’t receive proper care. In fact, many residents have died as a result of the substandard care in today’s nursing home facilities.

If you or a loved one suffered an injury or wrongful death due to nursing home neglect or abuse, you are not powerless. You have legal options. The experienced nursing home lawyers at Gallivan & Gallivan can counsel you and your family, explain your potential claims, and help you fight for compensation. Call Gallivan & Gallivan today to schedule a free consultation.

Katie Thomas, In Race for Medicare Dollars, Nursing Home Care May Lag, The New York Times, April 14, 2015.

The elderly victim of the assault was a resident of the West Lawrence Care Center in Rockaway, New York who suffered from osteoporosis, arthritis, and bone marrow disease. Due to her ailments, the victim was bedridden at the time of the assault. As such, she was unable to take care of herself on her own and depended on the assistance of nurses and nurse aids at the Rockaway facility.

Marie Jeanty from Queens was working at West Lawrence as a nursing aide. On August 15, 2014, while in the victim’s room, Jeanty was attempting to change the victim’s clothes and sheets. Jeanty became angry with the victim and punched her numerous times on the arm and shoulder. Jeanty then pushed the victim into the bed. The victim’s face smashed against the bed rail. As a result of the assault, the victim’s face and arm swelled, her body was covered in bruises, and she developed a black eye. She was transported to St. John’s Episcopal Hospital for treatment.

Jeanty was arrested on Thursday, April 2, 2015 for the assault as part of an investigation conducted by The New York State Office of the Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, which is tasked with investigating neglect and abuse at nursing homes. Jeanty was charged with second degree assault and two counts of endangering the welfare of a vulnerable person. Second degree assault is a Class D violent felony, which faces 1 to 7 years in prison. Endangering the welfare of a vulnerable person can be a Class E or Class D felony, which faces 1 to 7 years in prison.

Following the investigation, Jeanty hired a criminal defense attorney and voluntarily turned herself in to the Office of the Attorney General. She was arraigned in Queens Criminal Courthouse and pled not guilty. The judge released her on her own recognizance.
According to A.G. Schneiderman, “When New Yorkers place those who mean the most to them in a nursing home, they should have confidence that their loved ones are not in danger of severe physical abuse.”

Jeanty alleges that the victim’s story is false. According to Jeanty, she was alone in the room with the victim, and the story alleged by the prosecutor is not accurate. Every defendant is innocent until proven guilty, and it is unclear what information or evidence the Office of the Attorney General has gathered as part of its investigation. Because Jeanty is refuting the allegations, she may reject a plea offer and instead proceed to trial on the charges.

At trial, the prosecutor will be tasked with proving beyond a reasonable doubt that she committed the offenses. If she is convicted, she will be sentenced to jail time. In addition, the victim will also have legal recourse for her injuries. The victim may bring a civil personal injury lawsuit against Jeanty and West Lawrence for the nursing home abuse.

Because the nursing home is paid in part by state Medicaid funds, the state of New York has a vested interest in ensuring that nursing homes are properly caring for their residents and that instances of abuse are swiftly punished. The Office of the Attorney General is the investigative and prosecuting arm of the state, and the Office’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit exclusively focuses on organizations such as nursing homes that receive funding from Medicaid. The unit’s investigations involve allegations of medication pilfering, theft from Medicaid funds or residents’ own bank accounts, physical and emotional abuse of residents, and neglect.

If you or a loved one has been abused while in the care of a nursing home, you need to contact the police immediately to press charges. You also need to contact an experienced nursing home attorney to advise you on how to proceed with a potential civil lawsuit. The nursing home attorneys at Gallivan & Gallivan have decades of combined experience fighting nursing home injustice.

Nursing Home Compare is the federal government’s rating system for long-term care facilities eligible for coverage under Medicare. The website recently underwent an overhaul over the past year when Medicare placed stricter requirements for each rating category. The current system uses a 5-star quality rating system. Previously, many nursing homes had 4 or even 5 star scores, making them appear to be attractive options for families. However, with the revisions came a startling plummet in the average score of nursing homes across the country and especially in the state of New York.

The revision adjusted algorithms to dock nursing homes based on issues with performance, staff quality, use of antipsychotics, and inspections. Nursing homes can be awarded 1 through 5 stars, with 5 stars being the most rare and coveted designation. After the revision, nursing home averages dropped. 40% of nursing homes in 11 states now have 1 or 2 star ratings. New York is one of these states.

The state of New York houses 625 nursing homes that are certified by Medicare. 41% of these nursing homes are ranked as 1 or 2 star facilities. In fact, more nursing homes in New York have a 2 star rating than a 5 star rating. This places New York in the bottom 10 for nursing home quality.

Nursing Home Compare allows individuals and their family members to quickly and easily compare certain metrics of available nursing homes. However, nothing is as informative as personally visiting facilities that interest you. Nursing Home Compare is unable to take into account certain factors that may be important to you in your decision making process, such as the distance from the nursing home to a family member’s house or a hospital.

One growing concern with Nursing Home Compare is that it integrates self-reported data on quality of care, as calculated from surveys that the nursing homes complete. Nursing homes may skew their answers on these surveys in order to garner a better rating. By relying on these surveys, Nursing Home Compare’s ratings may even be too generous. However, many nursing homes criticize the system for its reliance on state inspections. The nursing homes argue that each state has its own format for inspections and that inspection intensity and type varies across the country. As such, comparing state inspection results on the website is useless for individuals looking to compare nursing homes in multiple states.

Many residents highly value nursing home proximity to loved ones, and this will greatly limit the number of choices available to them, especially if they are in a less densely populated area. 1 or 2 star rated nursing homes may be the only types of facilities available to some individuals. Nursing Home Compare’s website allows you to input your zipcode to see which facilities are available in your area. While the state of New York does have a large number of nursing homes, a search of the website reveals that many clusters of nursing homes are poorly rated.

Resident advocates argue that a lack of adequate staffing, lax laws on staffing, low salaries that result in high turnover rates, lax penalties, and state and federal officials’ fear of displacing residents of poorly performing homes has led to many of the lower rated homes staying in business despite years of poor reviews and issues. Nursing homes fight back, stating that lack of Medicaid funding prevents them from providing the services necessary to fully care for residents.

Federal law mandates that a nursing home have a registered nurse on duty at least eight hours each day with a licensed vocational nurse available 24/7. However, experts agree that these laws should be broadened to require at least four hours of direct care for each patient every day.

If you or a loved one has suffered personal injuries due to nursing home abuse or neglect, contact the skilled nursing home lawyers at Gallivan & Gallivan today to begin pursuing your just compensation now.

Julie Appleby, A Top-Rated Nursing Home Is Hard to Find in Texas, 10 Other States, Kaiser Health News.

After a long investigation conducted by the Office of Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit and the Division of Criminal Justice, A.G. Schneiderman announced charges against a former nursing home employee who allegedly beat a N.Y. nursing home resident.

Renee Geloso was a Certified Nurse’s Aide at Valley Health Services, located in Herkimer, New York. While caring for a resident, Geloso became frustrated and violently hit the resident. Jordan Gonzalez, another nursing home employee, witnessed the incident and failed to report the nursing home abuse. An anonymous individual reported the incident to the New York State Office of the Attorney General, which organized a task force to investigate.

Geloso was arrested for Endangering the Welfare of an Incompetent or Physically Disabled Person in the First Degree and Willful Violation of the Public Health Law. Geloso faces up to three years in prison or five years on probation for the first charge and up to one year in prison or three years on probation for the second charge.

Gonzalez was arrested for lying to officials to protect Geloso and for failing to report the resident abuse as required by state laws designed to protect vulnerable nursing home residents. Gonzalez was charged with Falsifying Business Records in the First Degree and Willful Violation of the Public Health Law. Gonzalez faces up to three years in prison or five years on probation for the first charge and up to one year in prison or three years on probation for the second charge.

According to A.G. Schneiderman, “Caregivers are entrusted with an important responsibility to keep our loved ones healthy and safe. Those who violate this trust by deliberately harming a nursing home resident must be held accountable.”

Both were arraigned in Illion Village Court. In addition to the criminal prosecution for nursing home abuse, the resident victim of the abuse will also have legal recourse for his or her injuries. The victim can file a civil lawsuit for personal injuries sustained in the beating.

When you have a loved one who lives at a nursing home or residential care facility, you can’t be with them all of the time. While you undoubtedly worked hard to find a facility you trust to take care of your family member, you do not have control over what happens when you are not there, and you often don’t know what happens when you are away. Many nursing home residents do not report abuse either because they are too scared to report or because they are unable to report due to being disabled or incapacitated.

Some common tell-tale signs of nursing home abuse include:

• Changes in mood or behavior: Your loved one is irritable and lashes out or acts strangely.
• Withdrawn and quiet: Your once-bubbly and talkative family member is now silent and withdrawn.
• Exhibits fear or paranoia: Your loved one acts scared, especially when a certain nursing home employee is around.
• Physical signs of abuse: Your loved one has bruises, scratches, cuts or burns that cannot be easily explained.
• Change in financial situation: If you have access to their bank accounts, you notice that funds have gone missing all of a sudden.
• A nursing home employee is hovering: When you visit, a certain nursing home employee is always around and within earshot, interfering with your visit to perhaps prevent your loved one from complaining of abuse.

If another individual witnesses nursing home abuse, they are mandated by the law to report it, even if they don’t want to get involved.

If you suspect a loved one has been abused at a nursing home, you need a skilled personal injury attorney to investigate your claims and seek full compensation for your loved one’s damages. The nursing home and employee should and can be held responsible. Call the dedicated and compassionate nursing home lawyers at Gallivan & Gallivan today to discuss your potential case.

Press Release: A.G. Schneiderman Announces Charges Against Herkimer County Certified Nurse’s Aid Accused of Striking a Nursing Home Resident, New York State Office of the Attorney General.

A supervising nurse at the Campbell Hall Rehabilitation Center has been arrested for stealing narcotics from the emergency supply cabinet at the nursing home.

Terri Stephens-Traverse was the supervising nurse at the Campbell Hall Rehabilitation Center in early 2013 when she began stealing oxycodone pills. The nursing home is located in Orange County in the Town of Hamptonburgh. As supervising nurse, Stephens-Traverse had unfettered access to the nursing home’s emergency pain medication supply. The nursing home kept a small supply of various medications for its elderly residents for use in emergencies and to help fill new pain medication prescriptions. Stephens-Traverse pilfered a large quantity of pills for personal use.

pills5.jpgAs supervising nurse, Stephens-Traverse was tasked with maintaining records regarding access to this supply. Stephens-Traverse was also assigned to monitoring the inflow and outflow of all medications. To avoid being caught, Stephens-Traverse lied on the log book and forged signatures of other nurses. Thus, the records showed that medications were administered by other nurses to elderly residents when, in fact, Stephens-Traverse took these pills for herself.

The Medicaid Fraud Unit of the New York State Office of the Attorney General investigated this case and arrested Stephens-Traverse in conjunction with the theft of the narcotics. According to Attorney General Schneiderman, “Resident safety is jeopardized when those responsible for their care are under the influence of dangerous narcotics. Opioid medications are highly addictive, and they must be closely monitored. My office will continue to prosecute unscrupulous medical professionals who steal patient medication and compromise the care they receive.”

Stephens-Traverse was arraigned in Hamptonburgh Town Justice Court before Judge Edward Souto. She was formally charged with Falsifying Business Records in the First Degree, Forgery in the Third Degree, Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Seventh Degree, and Petit Larceny. She was released on personal recognizance and is due back in court on May 27, 2015.

Falsifying Business Records in the First Degree is prosecutable under New York Penal Law 175.10. This crime is an “E” class felony, which is the lowest grade of felony. Under this law, a person is guilty when he or she intends to defraud others, either by intending to commit another crime or aiding or concealing the commission of the crime. Stephens-Traverse faces up to 4 years in prison if convicted of this crime. Forgery in the Third Degree is prosecutable under New York Penal Law 170.05. The crime is a misdemeanor and requires that the perpetrator intended to defraud, deceive or injury another when making a false statement on a document. Virtually any written document qualifies under this law, including computer data and identification cards. Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Seventh Degree is a misdemeanor prosecutable under New York Penal Law 220.03. This law simply criminalizes possession of illegal substances, and the prosecutor need only prove that the defendant unlawfully possessed the substance. Petit Larceny is akin to theft. It is a misdemeanor that requires the prosecutor prove only that the defendant stole someone else’s property. All misdemeanors are each punishable by up to one year in prison. Stephens-Traverse therefore faces up to 7 years cumulatively in prison if found guilty.

Elderly residents in nursing homes rely on access to crucial pain medication in order to cope with debilitating diseases and illnesses. When a nursing home worker violates state law and nursing home policy and pilfers pain medication for personal use, nursing home residents are deprived of these critical medications. However, even more alarming is the potential for a nurse at a nursing home to be working and caring for patients while under the influence of a highly addictive narcotic. The risk of negligence, recklessness, and even intentional wrongdoing increases tenfold. While a nurse is under the influence, he or she is unable to properly care for someone or respond to emergency situations. This increases the danger of a nursing home resident being injured or even dying at the hands of a nurse under the influence of a controlled substance.

If you believe a loved one has been abused in a nursing home, don’t hesitate to contact the New York nursing home abuse expert lawyers at Gallivan & Gallivan to discuss your claim today.

A.G. Schneiderman Announces Arrest of Nurse for Stealing Narcotics from Nursing Home

The New York State Office of the Attorney General is responsible for investigating and prosecuting a vast quantity of crimes in the state of New York. While many of the more widely publicized investigations involve drug distribution and conspiracies, Medicaid fraud has become a growing trend in the state of New York, and Attorney General Schneiderman has been doubling down on Medicaid fraud in the recent years.

The Office of the Attorney General now has a Medicaid Fraud Control Unit dedicated to detecting Medicaid fraud at doctor’s offices, nursing homes, hospitals, non-profits, and more. State and federal taxpayer dollars fund New York’s Medicaid program, thus fraudulent use of Medicaid funds wastes taxpayer money. In addition, it diverts much-needed funding from worthy programs and patients.

RAIN, or Regional Aid for Interim Needs, is a non-profit designed to provide services to the vulnerable elderly population. These services include home attendants, senior centers, Meals-on-Wheels, social services, and senior housing complexes. These services are funded in part by state Medicaid dollars. Beginning in 2003, RAIN’s former Executive Director, Louis Vasquez, dipped into the Medicaid pot and diverted Medicaid funds from financing healthcare services for elderly residents in the Bronx to paying over $800,000 in mortgage payments for an empty building.

While Medicaid funds are commonly awarded to non-profits that qualify for them, these funds include limitations on their use. Non-profits enter into agreements with the NYC Human Resources Division. These agreements restrict the Medicaid funds to only covering services designed to help the elderly. Incidental expenses such as mortgages, office supplies, or employee paychecks cannot be paid for using Medicaid funds.

From 2003 to 2008, former Executive Director Vasquez used these Medicaid funds to pay the mortgage. In addition, Vasquez also used RAIN’s corporate American Express credit card to charge thousands of dollars’ worth of personal expenses. The Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, in conjunction with the New York City Department of Investigation, conducted an investigation into the fraud. RAIN agreed to settle with the state to avoid additional liability. RAIN agreed to pay back the entire $800,000 that was diverted from elderly services to mortgage payments. RAIN also agreed to implement internal controls and governance reforms to prevent reoccurrences in the future. Most importantly, RAIN agreed to change the members of the Board of Directors. Thus, on September 30, 2013, Vasquez was forced to resign. Vasquez is required under the settlement to pay back in full the American Express charges.

RAIN is a well-known and trusted non-profit in the Bronx community, and many elderly residents rely on the non-profit for much-needed services. These services are pertinent for the elderly residents’ welfare. Some residents require around-the-clock care or frequent visits by home health aide nurses. Others utilize Medicaid benefits to supply elderly friendly housing. RAIN provides invaluable services to the elderly community, and when RAIN’s funding is diverted to other areas such as paying mortgages, the elderly residents suffer.

Elderly residents are especially vulnerable because many rely on the benefits conferred by state Medicaid programs to get necessary medications, receive treatment, and obtain accessible housing. Sadly, Medicaid fraud is not a rarity. While whistleblower statutes have increased the prevalence of reporting, the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit at the Office of the Attorney General is growing increasingly busy with investigations.

In fact, while this case involved misappropriated funds, there are a plethora of other forms of Medicaid fraud. Common forms include: (1) billing for services that were never provided, (2) billing both Medicaid and private insurance, (3) billing for visits that never occurred, (4) billing for more time than was spent with the patient, (5) misrepresenting qualifications of health care professionals, (6) billing for name-brand drugs when generics were supplied, (7) billing for unnecessary tests or equipment, (8) billing for more tests or more comprehensive tests than were actually administered, (9) providing kickbacks to other healthcare partners, and (10) including costs for personal items in Medicaid reports.

If you suspect your health care provider, nursing home, non-profit service provider or pharmacist is violating the law and defrauding you, don’t sit idle. Contact the New York Medicaid fraud expert lawyers at Gallivan & Gallivan today or make a complaint directly to the New York State Office of the Attorney General.

A.G. Schneiderman Announces $800,000 Settlement with Bronx Nonprofit that Diverted Money Intended for Services for Elderly

New York’s state Medicaid system is designed to provide health care-related services to some of New York’s most vulnerable populations. One such population is people with developmental disabilities. The Office for People with Developmental Disabilities is tasked with coordinating services either directly or through a network of Medicaid-funded nonprofits. Over 700 nonprofits currently exist in New York to serve those with developmental disabilities, and these 700 nonprofits provide approximately 80% of all services.

elderly woman.jpgDevelopmental disabilities include intellectual disabilities, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, autism, and other disabilities. This vulnerable population relies on Medicaid-funded services, which include long-term care services, habilitation, clinical services, residential support and services, residential schools, institutions, and developmental centers. In addition, the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities provides support to families to educate them on and assist them with caring for loved ones who have developmental disabilities.

While many individuals with developmental disabilities have a strong family support system to help care for them and provide much-needed services, many individuals also rely on the care and services of non-profits funded by Medicaid under the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities. One such nonprofit is Fishkill-based Keli House Community Services.

Keli House strives to provide services to people with developmental disabilities and their families in order to decrease institutionalization rates. These services include assessing the person’s needs and then connecting them with invaluable programs. Despite its noble goal, Keli House was accused by the New York State Office of the Attorney General with violating its mission and violating Medicaid restrictions by hiring unqualified employees.

As an aside, in order to maximize the help it can provide these vulnerable residents and their families, the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities has put in place strict rules that govern all of the 700 nonprofits that provide services under its umbrella using Medicaid funds. One such rule is that all individuals who are employed by the nonprofit in coordinating services for the population must meet strict qualification standards regarding education and experience. The Office requires that each coordinator have at least an associate’s degree in health or human services and either one year of experience working with persons with developmental disabilities or one year of experience with service coordination. Finally, all service coordinators must complete a rigorous training program that has been vetted by the Office.

In violation of the rule, Keli House employed 10 service coordinators, 9 of whom were unqualified. While some of the coordinators had absolutely no prior experience, others held degrees in unrelated fields. The Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, in conjunction with the Justice Center for the Protection of Persons with Special Needs, conducted the investigation into Keli House. In response to the allegations, Keli House agreed to settle for $363,643.

While Medicaid fraud is one such way that individuals with developmental disabilities are targeted, a more direct form of harm is through caretaker abuse. Persons with developmental disabilities are especially vulnerable to abuse because many of them are unable to comprehend or understand the situation. In addition, many of them are powerless to fight against the abuse. Abuse may occur in institutionalized settings or even in special education classes or in the home. Common signs of abuse include withdrawn or antisocial behavior, depression, fear, unexplained anger, avoidance behaviors, regression, signs of physical trauma such as bruises, and any inappropriate behavior or conversations between the patient and their caretaker.

Unfortunately, abuse is rampant in the developmental disability community, and it is imperative to catch the abuse early to stop it. Report any suspected abuse or Medicaid fraud to the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities. Then call the experienced caretaker abuse lawyers at Gallivan & Gallivan today to discuss your potential claim.