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 the Law Offices of Thomas L. Gallivan, PLLC today to discuss your potential case.