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Felony charges filed in nursing home neglect case

When individuals are confronted with difficulties related to a serious medical condition and/or the natural process of aging, they should be able to trust in the level of care they receive in a nursing home setting. Tragically, however, incidents of nursing home neglect are not uncommon in facilities across the country. Marking that May 11th is the start of National Nursing Home Week, a recent incident involving 17 Buffalo, New York, nursing home staff highlights just how pervasive nursing home negligence can be.

The allegations against the 17 nurses and nurse’s aides at a Buffalo nursing home facility revolve around the care, or lack thereof, they allegedly provided to one patient last summer. The patient in question suffered from a neurological disorder that confined him to his bed. According to the office of Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, an investigation into the incident resulted in discrepancies between the documented care provided by the 17 defendants and video proof of patient neglect.

According to prosecutors, the defendants documented that they checked in on and administered medication to the patient at specific times even though camera footage shows otherwise. For allegedly failing to provide timely care, the defendants face misdemeanor charges. Beyond that, they also face felony charges for falsifying documentation and endangering a disabled person. Felony hearings for the 17 defendants are scheduled, and a conviction on the felony charges alone can amount to a four-year prison sentence. They all have apparently lost their jobs already.

Elderly Americans are increasingly vulnerable to abuse and exploitation, and must be protected and accounted for under the law. Sound legal representation can help to ensure that nursing home patients have a voice against any and all forms of mistreatment.

Source: Wall Street Journal, “17 New York nursing home workers charged,” April 25, 2014

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