Aaliyah Weathers, 19, a certified nurse’s aide at the Heritage Health Care Center, an upstate New York nursing home, was arrested in March 2014 for an incident that resulted in the broken leg of a 95-year-old patient under her care. Weathers failed to report the incident, and the elderly resident suffered from an untreated broken leg for two days. The aide appeared before the Honorable Ralph J. Eannance, a Utica City Court judge, and was charged with Falsifying Business Records in the First Degree, Endangering the Welfare of a Vulnerable Elderly Person or a Physically Disabled Person in the second degree, Endangering the Welfare of an Incompetent or Physically Disabled Person in the second degree, and Willful Violation of Health Laws. She entered a mandatory not guilty plea and was released on her own recognizance.
According to investigators, Weathers was taking care of a 95-year-old patient at the Heritage Health Care Center. The patient’s care plan stated that she needed to be transported by a special lift that requires two people to use. However, Weathers attempted to use the lift by herself. As a result, the resident slipped and was lowered to the floor. Weathers did not report the incident. Two days later, employees at the facility discovered that the elderly woman had two fractures in her lower right leg. Investigators later traced the broken leg back to Weathers.
Commenting on the arrest, New York State Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman remarked, “It is unacceptable that this patient was seriously injured as a result of Ms. Weather’s negligence, and even more egregious that her suffering was prolonged by Weather’s failure to report the incident. Families should be able to trust that their loved one will receive the best possible care while in a nursing facility. My office will continue to punish to the fullest extent of the law those who jeopardize the well-being of their patients.”
Website Resource: Utica health care worker arrested, Utica Observer-Dispatch, March 21, 2014