Minnesota Law Would Deem Elder Abusers Predatory Offenders

An emerging bill meant to deem <"http://www.yourlawyer.com/practice_areas/nursing_home_negligence">elder abusers as predatory offenders has made it to the Senate. Bill sponsor, Senator Warren Limmer—Republican-Maple Grove—says that nursing home facility employees found to be harming vulnerable residents will be added to the predator registry, wrote The Associated Press (AP). The legislation passed its final committee earlier this week and is now on its way to the Senate floor.

The predator list includes people convicted of “sexual criminal conduct, kidnapping, soliciting a minor, and possessing child pornography,” noted the AP. Senator Limmer told KARE-TV what we have long been reporting, that elder abuse is on the rise, especially in patients with mental health and physical limitations.

Although there are far too many to name, we have been following the trend and hoping to bring more attention to this devastating criminal trend.

For instance, a case in California in which a grandmother, placed in a facility by a reluctant family who felt she needed additional care, was physically abused and neglected. Before her death in the facility—a very short time after she arrived—her grandson equipped her bed with a Granny-Cam. And, while staff, aware of the device, routinely unplugged the cam (against family wishes and without their knowledge), the camera was able to capture some abuse, which is at the center of litigation and a probe. Fair Oaks, the facility involved, has been shut down and all residents placed elsewhere.

Late last year we wrote that, in a massive verdict, nursing home operator Skilled Healthcare, was mandated to pay over $671 million in a class-action lawsuit after having been found to have neglected to provide appropriate staffing at its assisted-living locations, said the AP at the time. The complaint involved 32,000 patients at 22 facilities. Since, five other nursing home abuse lawsuits have been filed in that state, with each alleging insufficient staffing. A number of other emerging cases have also alleged insufficient staffing against Evergreen California Healthcare, Thekkek Health Services, Beverly Healthcare California, Kindred Healthcare, Covenant Care, and Emerald Gardens Nursing Center, all involving negligence and injury to residents.

Last month we wrote about a situation in which a nurse’s aide hit an 87-year-old paralyzed woman, Modesta Alvarado, several times in her head. The assault, said police Lt. Frank Cannella, was recorded. The attack took place on January 15th at The Harborage nursing home, a part of the Palisades Medical Center, said NJ.com. The woman’s daughter placed a nanny cam in her mother’s room after she saw a number of suspect bruises on her mother’s body, said Cannella. Mrs. Alvarado had been living at The Harborage for nearly one year and was both terminally ill and paralyzed; she died the day after the recorded attack, but her death was not ruled as a homicide according to the Hudson County prosecutor, said NJ.com.

Another nursing home resident was used as part of so-called prank, and has filed a nursing home abuse lawsuit seeking punitive damages for a number of injuries as a result of that incident, said Courthouse News. The resident alleged that she suffered injuries after the caretaking staff charged with her care covered her in “slippery ointment” to play a joke on the next shift, said Courthouse News. Four nursing assistants covered seven dementia patients with ointment over their entire bodies, while two others did not report the incident; all six were fired and misdemeanors were filed.

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