Four nursing home staff members were arrested for neglecting to provide care to a 94-year old resident at Focus Rehabilitation and Nursing Center, Cooperstown, NY. The elderly female resident was diagnosed with a 4cm x 2cm pressure sore after allegedly being left in the same recliner for 41 hours over Memorial Day weekend this year. The female resident, identified as “M.P.” received only one meal, one medication administration, and only one time was incontinence care provided by staff over the nearly 2 day window, as captured by facility surveillance footage. Not until the resident was removed from the recliner was she diagnosed with a pressure sore.
The NY Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman announced the arrest and arraignment of four Focus Rehabilitation and Nursing Center employees on charges alleging they each failed to provide care to a resident. The four staff members, including 2 Licensed Practical Nurses (L.P.N.) and 2 Certified Nurse Assistants, (C.N.A.) were arraigned on 8/2/16 in Otsego Town Court in Fly Creek, NY. According to Schneiderman’s press release, Lorraine Caldwell, L.P.N., Amanda Gus, L.P.N., and Sarah Schuyler C.N.A. were arraigned on various felony charges including Falsifying Business Records, Endangering the Welfare of an Incompetent or Physically Disabled Person in the first degree, and the misdemeanor charge of Wilful Violation of Health Laws. Donna Gray, C.N.A., was arraigned only on the misdemeanor charge of Wilful Violation of Health Laws. New York Penal Law 260.25, Endangering the welfare of an incompetent or physically disabled person in the first degree, states that “A person is guilty of endangering the welfare of an incompetent or physically disabled person in the first degree when he knowingly acts in a manner likely to be injurious to the physical, mental or moral welfare of a person who is unable to care for himself or herself because of physical disability, mental disease or defect.”
“Our healthcare workers have a basic duty to care for their patients, to provide required care, keep them safe and not to injure them. My office will bring justice to caregivers who hurt and neglect patients, who ignore the law and safety protocols, and who falsify records to cover up their crimes” said NYS Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.
During a June 3, 2016 Recertification and Complaint survey, due to the Memorial Day weekend incident, NYS Department of Health investigators found Focus Rehabilitation and Nursing Center to be in “Immediate Jeopardy.” In this situation, the home is required to take immediate steps to rectify the jeopardy – “a non-compliance with one or more requirements which has caused or is likely to cause serious injury, harm, impairment or death.” The DOH issued health inspection citations for the following federal regulation violations: FF09 483.75: Facility administered effectively to obtain highest practical well being regulation: A facility must be administered in a manner that enables it to use its resources effectively and efficiently to attain or maintain the highest practicable physical, mental, and psychosocial well-being of each resident and FF09 483.13(c): Policies, Procedures prohibit abuse, neglect regulation: The facility must develop and implement written policies and procedures that prohibit mistreatment, neglect, and abuse of residents and misappropriation of resident property.
Focus Rehabilitation and Nursing Center at Otsego is a for profit, 176-bed rehabilitation and nursing facility. Owned and operated by CCRN Operator, LLC it is located at 128 Phoenix Mills Cross Road in Cooperstown NY. It provides skilled nursing and short-term rehabilitation, as well as short-term respite care.
If you or a loved one has suffered abuse, neglect or mistreatment at a nursing home, please do not hesitate to call the passionate and experienced nursing home abuse attorneys at the Law Offices of Thomas L. Gallivan, PLLC today.