Nine people have now been arrested and charged in connection with the death of a , New York nursing home.
The arrests range from the home’s highest administrator to a low level aide, according to WABC TV Eyewitness News. One of the defendants is charged with criminally negligent homicide in the 2012 death. Prosecutors say a licensed practical nurse failed to read doctors orders that the patient be hooked up to a ventilator at night. The patient, Aurelia Rios, was at the Medford Multicare Center for temporary rehab stay after being hospitalized for a breathing disorder.
According to New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman, Rios died because she was not connected to a ventilator despite explicit orders from her doctor. Some of those charged in her death allegedly failed to respond to visual and audio alarms for almost two hours despite being just inches from monitors. The patient suffocated, Eyewitness News reports. One nurse is charged with not reading the doctor’s orders to place the patient on a ventilator and another is charged with falsifying records, reporting that nurses had responded to alarms when they hadn’t.
Prosecutors say that two administrators, David Fielding and Christine Boylan, conspired to cover up staff incompetence and concealed records that the alarm systems went off. The death was never reported the death to authorities and Rios’ daughter was told she died of a heart attack, according to Eyewitness News.
Earlier this year, the Attorney General filed a civil lawsuit charging the home’s owners with corporate looting and fraud, Patchogue Patch reports. The complaint included a long history of resident neglect and systematic corporate looting. According to a news release from the attorney general, Medford Multicare “owners lined their pockets with millions in public Medicaid funds while turning a blind eye to persistent neglect of residents by senior management and staff.”