Video of Dementia Resident Taunted by Nursing Home Caregivers Was Shared on Social Media
Levin & Perconti is representing the family of a 91-year-old woman after two of her care aides, formerly employed by Abington of Glenview Nursing Home in Glenview, violated the Illinois Nursing Home Care Act and state privacy laws through abuse and the use of social media. The workers, Brayan Cortez and Jamie Montesa, were caught publishing a Snapchat video of themselves taunting Margaret Collins, an elderly resident with dementia. Snapchat is a multimedia app and popular social media channel used by over 180 million people every day. Each post made is called a “snap.”
The video went public just days before the Christmas holiday in 2018 and showed Collins lying in bed and visibly upset from being taunted by employees throwing a hospital gown at her several times, a clothing item her family says Abington workers knew would make her distressed. The video was captioned with “Margaret hates gowns,” and the “snap” was decorated with two laughing face emojis. A former employee saw the video and shared it with the resident’s family.
A civil suit for $1 million has since been filed against the nursing home stating the administrators and managers allowed workers to “mentally and emotionally” abuse Collins and also use their “position of power and influence to harass, taunt, bully, degrade and take advantage of Margaret.” Residents with dementia are quick targets of elder abuse because they often cannot speak up or communicate when they are suffering.
For a review of the full story as reported by the Washington Post, click here.
Nursing Home Staff Social Media Use May Be Actionable in Civil Court
While it is not talked about as frequently as physical abuse or neglect in a nursing home, the type of conduct by staff as outlined in this suit is also a form of abuse. In addition, the nursing home abuse and neglect attorneys at Levin & Perconti believe Abington failed to implement its abuse prevention policy, resulting in a clear violation of resident privacy and for Collins to be treated without consideration, respect, and dignity by care staff. Nursing home employees have no right to behave this way or use their electronic devices in situations that could violate the rights of vulnerable residents.
In 2018, Levin & Perconti filed a similar lawsuit on behalf of a 76-year-old man who was humiliated in a video filmed by nursing home aides employed by Holland Home in South Holland, Illinois. The video itself shows one woman holding her phone and capturing a male resident holding his adult diaper while another worker instructs him to take off his pants. The video was then posted to Facebook Live. The lawsuit alleged physical, sexual, and mental abuse and says that “employees maliciously abused the resident through remorseless taunts, mockery, and lewd suggestions for the purpose of coercing him into taking his pants off and exposing his genitals.”
Request Help from a Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Attorney Today
If your loved one is a resident of a nursing home and you believe they have had their rights violated through the use of social media, please do not let it go unnoticed. Report it to nursing home officials, state regulatory bodies, and visit with a local nursing home abuse and neglect attorney to see what can be done. The attorneys at Levin & Perconti have winning experience with these 21st century types of cases and consultations with our legal team are both free and confidential. Please call us at (312) 332-2872 or complete our free online consultation request form.