On February, 11th, 2014, Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman arrested nine employees at the Multicare Center for Living, Inc. in Medford, New York for employee negligence after a 72-year old female at the nursing home died in 2012. Seven of the employees were arrested for her death.
The main administrator of the nursing home facility as well as the corporation who owns Multicare Center for the Living were also charged with attempting to hide the 72 year-old’s death. In addition, the Attorney General filed a separate lawsuit against the home’s owners with fraud, citing an extensive history of criminal activities by employees at the nursing home facility, along with corporate looting. The home’s owners have also been accused of stealing over $60 million in Medicaid funds.
One employee was charged with Criminally Negligent Homicide for the woman’s death. The caregiver is a licensed professional trained to treat residents who are ventilator-dependent. She confessed that she failed to read a doctor’s order to connect the woman to a ventilator machine overnight. Thus, the resident was not hooked to a ventilator machine when she went to sleep, and died. In addition, she is seen on video walking to her office and failing to respond to alarms for over two hours. She also ignored messages on her pager that notified her that the resident had stopped breathing. Joseph was not the only employee to be arrested.
The following employees were also arrested:
–An aide whose job was to sit next to the woman. When the woman rang an alarm for assistance, he failed to respond.
–An aide who is accused of lying about the woman’s respiratory alarms. The aide said her respiratory alarms did not beep and that the 72 year-old’s breathing was normal. However, records indicate that the alarm system was on while the caregiver was in the patient’s room.
–A licensed practical nurse who told investigators that the woman was fine and alert. She even stated that the patient “looked up at me” when the 72 year-old was most likely dead, and had been for quite some time.
–A registered nurse who did not properly respond to both visual and audio alarms for close to two hours. These monitors were only a few inches away from her work area.
–The Medford Multicare Center’s licensed administrator was charged with hiding computer records from the NYS Department of Health (DOH) to cover up the details of her death.
–Director of respiratory therapy, was also charged with hiding computer records to hide evidence of information surrounding her death.
A whistleblower is responsible for alerting investigators about the death of the 72 year-old female resident. There were also arrests of two other employees for other incidents relating to abuse and neglect.
The woes for the nursing home have not ended there, however. Attorney General Schneiderman also filed a civil suit against Multicare Center for the Living, Inc. alleging that the nursing home has established a systemic pattern of abuse and neglect. In addition, he contends that the owners are involved with corporate looting.
Attorney General Schneiderman told the press, “Nursing home residents are our state’s most vulnerable citizens.”
Unfortunately, nursing homes are places where neglect, injuries, and deaths are common in the Chicagoland area and across the United States.