In March, we wrote about the arrest of two Certified Nurse Aides from Tarrytown Hall Center after an incident in February 2012. Going against protocol, one of the aides, Maureen Flowers, attempted to lift the elderly resident from her wheelchair without the assistance of another staff member. Flowers dropped the resident, resulting in a fractured spine and leg. Rather than immediately alerting medical personnel of the accident, Flowers attempted to cover up the incident by asking another aide to say that she had assisted in the transfer. The resident was taken to the hospital, where she passed away approximately two hours later.
Flowers was initially charged with endangering a vulnerable elderly person, as well as attempting to conceal the accident. Last week those charges were upgraded to manslaughter. To convict Flowers of manslaughter in the second degree, the state will have to prove that she recklessly caused the death of the senior involved in this incident. As a class C felony, manslaughter in the second degree carries a maximum sentence of fifteen years in prison.
New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has been outspoken in the past regarding the severity with which he views cases of nursing home abuse. Clearly this case is no different. In a statement, Schneiderman said, “The egregious lack of care afforded this frail resident warrants the serious charges against this aide. It is my office’s duty and obligation to investigate and prosecute those that place our seniors at risk.” In cases of negligence, a nursing home must be held responsible for harm and damages inflicted upon its vulnerable residents. It is good to know that in more severe cases such as this that rise to the level of criminality the Attorney General’s office is willing to pursue charges and prosecute the individual offenders to the fullest extent of the law.
The other aide, with whom Flowers conspired to cover up the incident, pleaded guilty earlier this year to a misdemeanor charge of falsifying business records in the second degree.
ABC news has more on this story: