Articles Posted in Physical Abuse

The Inspector General for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released a report stating that at least one in four instances of elder abuse or neglect are not reported. While horrific in scope, the results are not entirely surprising – other, smaller samples have found that 15 to 20 percent of elder abuse cases were not reported to the proper authorities or government agencies. The most recent study, released by the HHS Inspector General, based its findings on a large sampling of cases spanning 33 states. The study, which pegged the underreporting rate at exactly 28 percent, was released with a demand that Medicare take “corrective action right away.”

Despite mandatory reporting laws by both the federal government virtually all states, the rathelpe of under-reporting remains stubbornly high. On the federal level, nursing homes are required to report any incidents involving a suspected crime immediately and any other case of suspected elder abuse within 24 hours. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) can fine nursing homes up to $300,000 for failing to comply with the law. While such a strict timeline and the possibility of hefty fines would typically discourage non-compliance, the HHS report shows that the law requiring reporting of any elder abuse – whether physical, financial, sexual or otherwise – is mostly unenforced by CMS.
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As part of President Trump’s promise to roll-back federal regulations, the Trump administration has announced its intention to scrap a federal rule prohibiting nursing homes from requiring their residents to pursue legal claims through arbitration.

In the simplest terms, arbitration is a catch-all term for a dispute-resolution that, while legally binding, does not utilize the court system. The practice has exploded in popularity in recent decades – especially among larger corporations and nursing homes. These entities prefer arbitration because the costs are generally lower, the dispute resolution process moves much faster than the courts, and parties generally do not have a right to appeal thus providing both parties some finality to their dispwalking-out-300x225ute. Opponents of arbitration say the extra-judicial process favors corporate interests and curtails the rights of victims – from limiting discovery to removing the opportunity to appeal. Further, arbitration also removes the right for a person to have their case heard before a jury, and instead substitutes a so-called “neutral arbitrator.”
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With toothless regulations and ineffective oversight, many nursing homes are still failing the neediest patients. With its budget for overseeing nursing homes slashed in half, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has failed to identify failing nursing homes and keep them accountable. As a consequence, some nursing homes are choosing to accept the infrequent fines instead of changing their behavior.

helpCMS is responsible for overseeing all nursing homes that receive benefits from these federal entitlement programs. CMS routinely inspects nursing homes for any violations, if a violation is found, then CMS has two options. First, CMS can put the facility on “special focus” status – reserved for the worst offenders. A nursing home with this designation would be routinely inspected more often and, supposedly, would be punished more severely for any violations. Unfortunately, federal budget cuts have blunted the amount of nursing homes that can be put under “special focus.” Since 2012, the budget for inspecting facilities with this designation has dropped by half. Consequently, despite regulators identifying 435 facilities that warranted this designation, only 88 nursing homes were actually put on the watchlist. Further, once a Continue reading

physical-abuse-300x169A Berkshires caretaker has been charged with elder abuse after an 84-year-old man told hospital staff that his two broken ribs were caused by being “thrown around like a rag doll.” The 52-year-old man, Anthony Marcella II, was arraigned in Central Berkshire District Court on charges of assault and battery on a person over 60 or disabled, witness intimidation, caretaker abuse of an elder, and caretaker abuse of an elder causing serious bodily harm. Marcella has pleaded not-guilty to all charges and was released on a bail.

On May 22 or 23, Marcella was allegedly “rough” when picking up the elderly victim (whose name is not provided) after he fell down. According to court documents, Marcella squeezed him in an aggressive manner and proceeded to throw him around “like a rag doll.” The elderly victim suffered two broken ribs as a result of his caretaker’s abusive treatment. Continue reading

On May 10, 2011, a resident (described only as “Resident X”) in the dementia/Alzheimer’s unit at Sprain Brook Manor Nursing Home became agitated, falsely believing that the television in his room had been stolen or was otherwise missing. The resident, according to the Plaintiff, had a “known history of aggression.” The nurse in the unit proceeded to take Resident X to his room and show him that his television was, in fact, still in his room. According to the Plaintiff, this was “in a manner not appropriate for dealing with an agitated Alzheimer’s patient.” As Resident X became further enraged, another nursing home resident E. Benisatto stood up to intervene when Resident X pushed her down. Benisatto was transferred to the hospital where she was treated for a hip fracture and then subsequently returned to Sprain Brook Manor. Almost a month later, on June 1, 2011, Benisatto was readmitted to the hospital for “failing to thrive” – a diagnosis that is the result of several conditions, including malnutrition, bedsores and gangrene. Sadly, Benisatto passed away only one week later. Continue reading

Jacky Stanley, a former rehabilitation worker at Northeast Center for Special Care in Lake Katrine, New York was convicted of sexually abusing six male residents at the facility – each of whom were in the facility after suffering traumatic brain injuries. All six male residents testified in court that Stanley molested them in some way – either by performing oral sex on them, or by “rubbing or trying to touch” their genitals. Despite the prosecution providing no physical evidence and no witnesses of the abuse (other than the victims), Stanley was convicted of almost all crimes the prosecution had brought against him. The trial lasted four days and jurors deliberated for roughly eight hours over two days.

The Northeast Center for Special Care “provides care and rehabilitation to individuals who have suffered traumatic brain injuries” – generally caused by stroke, motor vehicle accidents, falls, and other catastrophic event. Stanley was an employed as a “Neighborhood Counselor” – whose duties included managing residents’ social environment and ensuring that residents participated in their required programs.

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Andrew Hatcher, 28, of Brooklyn, New York, has been charged with endangering the welfare of two developmentally disabled residents under his care at Centerreach Intermediate Care Facility. Hatcher has been charged with two counts of Endangering the Welfare of an Incompetent or Physically Disabled Person in the First Degree, a class E Felony, stemming from an incident where he tied up a resident.

According to Attorney General Schneiderman, Hatcher, knowing that he was the only caregiver on the night shift responsible for two severely physically impaired and intellectually disabled residents, “failed to care for them and failed to perform required 15-minute bed checks to ensure their safety.”

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A former employee of Northeast Center for Special Care (NCSP) in Lake Katrine was convicted of sexually abusing six residents of the facility who were admitted for traumatic brain injuries.

NCSP is a facility that provides rehabilitation and care for those suffering traumatic brain injuries caused by stroke, motor vehicle accidents, falls and other dire events. Jacky Stanley was employed as a “Neighborhood Counselor”, responsible for assisting residents in getting accustomed to the facility. His responsibilities included managing residents social environment and ensuring residents participated in their required programs. Continue reading

According to Attorney General Schneiderman, a licensed nurse at a nursing home in Oswego, New York intentionally broke an elderly resident’s rib.

The charges stem from a November 8, 2016 incident at the Pontiac Care and Rehabilitation Center in Oswego, New York. According to the Attorney General, Darryl Boscoe, a licensed practical nurse, pushed an 89-year-old man down a hallway, where the man then fell and suffered a nondisplaced fracture to his left rib.

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Samantha Grover, a Certified Nurse Aid, pled guilty to a felony for punching an 87-year-old man in the face and pushing him onto the ground. On October 18, 2016, the judge sentenced Grover to weekends in jail for four months, followed by five years of probation. In addition, her nurse aide license has been revoked.

On October 17, 2015, Grover, then an employee at James Square Health and Rehabilitation Centre in Syracuse, New York hit a nursing home resident in the face and then pushed him – causing him to fall onto a piece of furniture. The elderly victim, whose name was not released, suffered from impingement syndrome of the right shoulder and a rotator cuff strain. Witnesses reported the attack to the James Square administration, who then notified the police. After working at the nursing home for four years, Grover’s employment was terminated.

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