California Nursing Home Sued by Children of Well-Known Hollywood Actor

Saturday, January 29th, 2011

The children of Gene Barry, a well-known Hollywood film and television actor, have filed a lawsuit against Sunrise of Woodland Hills nursing home in Woodland Hills, California after the actor died following a tragic fall in the nursing home.

According to Barry’s children, the actor fell at the facility in December of 2009.  That fall resulted in broken ribs, brain damage, head injuries and a hip injury.  Barry was admitted to Sunrise of Woodland Hills in June of 2009 in reasonably good health; he was admitted because he suffered from Alzheimer’s and dementia, although the home was not equipped to care for Barry’s needs.

In the lawsuit, Barry’s children claim that the facility did not notify a doctor or the children, and that he was in great pain and neglected for 4 days before any of the family found out about the fall.  The family is filing a wrongful death claim against Sunrise of Woodland Hills.  The children claim that management, staff members and corporate officers are liable for elder abuse, nursing home fraud and negligence in addition to wrongful death.

According to the lawsuit, Barry was not assessed sufficiently during the pre-admission process, which led to the facility not being able to provide for his needs.  Barry was admitted with dementia, and the suit alleges that the facility violated Cal. Code Regs. tit.22, 87582(f) which prohibits elderly residential care facilities from admitting patients whose “primary need for care and supervision results from dementia.”

The suit also claims that staff and management falsely represented the home to the children, and fell short of the promises to provide an environment that offered the good level of care that Barry was legally entitled to.  The children alleged that the nursing home caused Barry’s death due to their negligence in monitoring his condition following the fall.

Barry’s children, Elizabeth, Frederic and Michael, claim that they suffered loss of love, comfort and emotional support due to their father’s death.  Dollar amounts are not specified, but the children are seeking compensatory, pecuniary, and punitive damages along with prejudgment interest.

Nursing home abuse and neglect is growing more and more common in today’s society.  If you suspect your loved one is being neglected or mistreated in a nursing home or elder care facility, contact the nursing home abuse lawyers in New York at Brown Chiari; Buffalo personal injury law firm.

Residents of New York Nursing Home Victims of Theft

Wednesday, January 26th, 2011

Four residents of the Bushwick Center for Rehabilitation and Health Care have recently reported being the victims of theft.  The East New York nursing was formerly the Wartburg Nursing Home.  Reportedly conditions at the facility have been going downhill after a lay off in 2008 of more than 50 staff members.

Following the lay offs, some positions have been filled with temporary employees staffed by private agencies – and these are the employees that residents believe are stealing their goods.  Patricia Coleman, a resident of the nursing home, said that $132 was taken from her wallet while she was sleeping.
One resident even states that she caught the thieves in the act, after $80 went missing from her eyeglasses case as two aides left the room after bathing her.  Cynthia Thompson, the victim who caught the aides in the act, said that after she made a fuss one of the aides suddenly came up with the money after scrambling around on the floor.

Sol Blumenfeld, who recently took over the 225 bed nursing home, stated that the facility takes the complaints seriously and is committed to protecting the well-being of the residents, as well as the security of their valuables.  Nursing home officials are investigating the thefts, and pleading with staffing agents that provide employees to review their screening and training procedures.

Blumenfeld also said that there is zero-tolerance at the Bushwick Center for employees or independent contractors in regards to misconduct.  According to Blumenfeld, residents who want them are offered drawer locks so that they can secure their belongings.

74-year-old Catherine Mahase was hit particularly hard after being robbed of not only $80, but her wedding ring and a gold chain.  She was particularly upset about the loss of the wedding ring, which held sentimental value and was a reminder of her late husband.

While this is not actual nursing home abuse or neglect in the physical sense, it is a sad fact that our elderly loved ones in some instances cannot feel secure in nursing homes in regards to money and items that hold sentimental value.  Perhaps it could be considered mental abuse, since residents may feel insecure and vulnerable knowing that the very people who are supposed to be providing care are instead stealing from them.

Brown Chiari is a highly regarded New York nursing home abuse law firm specializing in the rights of nursing home residents and their families.   Serving as Buffalo personal injury attorneys in a cases including Nursing home abuse, Construction accidents, Defective products and more.

New York Nursing Home Fined $3,250 by Federal Department of Health & Human Services

Wednesday, January 19th, 2011

A Rochester, NY nursing home has been fined $3,250 by the Federal Department of Health & Human Services due to what is considered substandard quality of care the placed residents in immediate danger.  Blossom South nursing home was issued these fines after it was found that residents were allowed to smoke in their rooms even when oxygen devices were present.

Apparently, staff members were aware that 3 residents smoked in their rooms on several occasions with oxygen devices present.  It was found than one resident who smoked had a can of enamel used for art projects setting on a nearby nightstand.  Aerosol cans are extremely flammable.

Blossom South was fined previously this year for smoking-related deficiencies that were identified during a Medicare survey that took place on February 26th.  The facility was one of 15 nursing homes in the state of New York cited between the months of June and September for resident safety issues and substandard care according to a quarterly summary issued by the Long Term Care Community Coalition.

The latest fine given to Blossom South was reduced by 35% because of the fact that the facility waived its right to a hearing.  Blossom South was also fined on 4 other occasions by the state Department of Health.  They were fined $2,000 in 2005, $1,000 in 2006 and $2,000 on two separate occasions in 2008 for various violations.

Blossom South was rated as a one-star facility by the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which is the lowest possible score for a nursing home.  The scores that were given to the 161 bed for-profit facility were one star for health inspections, 2 stars for nursing home staffing and 3 stars for qualify measures.

Brown Chiari is a reputable Buffalo NY nursing home abuse law firm specializing in resident rights, nursing home abuse and neglect.  Contact us if you suspect that your loved one is receiving insufficient care or being mistreated in a nursing home or elderly care facility.

Brown Chiari is an experienced law firm with considerate and talented personal injury attorneys in Buffalo NY

Monroe, LA Nursing Home Worker Arrested After Tormenting Resident

Wednesday, January 19th, 2011

Cell phones are handy little devices, but one came in particularly handy when it resulted in the arrest of a nursing home worker who was tormenting an 80 year old female resident at a Monroe, Louisiana nursing home recently.

Tammy Wynette McMillion, a 32 year old worker at the unnamed facility, is accused of tormenting a patient numerous times including once with a dead cockroach according to local police.  Reports state that the abusive incidents were captured on a cell phone.  McMillion was arrested on four counts of cruelty to the infirm.  The nursing home is not identified in the arrest affidavit; deputies were responding to a complaint from the facility when this evidence was uncovered.

McMillion’s cell phone had recordings of 4 separate incidents according to reports.  Besides using a dead cockroach to torment to patient, McMillion also used very degrading language to the victim, who was shown to be very distraught in the recordings and not able to defend herself.

The accused was taken to Ouachita Correctional Center for booking after being arrested at her home in Monroe.  Bond was set at $15,000 for one charge, but no bond was set for the remaining charges.

According to another employee at the facility, McMillion, who was a CNA, was escorted from the premises at once upon viewing of the videos by administration.  Family and police were notified, and reports were submitted to DHH.  A co-worker apparently reported the crime.

While abuse and neglect go on at nursing homes and elder care facilities every day, it is refreshing to know that some facilities actually take action when workers behave in a way that is totally unacceptable.  It appears that in this case, the nursing home took swift action and did the right thing – which doesn’t seem to be the “norm” today.

Abuse and neglect of a loved one in any nursing home is against the law and should not be tolerated.  Our loved ones are placed in these facilities so that they can get the quality care and medical attention they deserve.

If you suspect your loved one is being mistreated or abused in a nursing home, contact the New York nursing home abuse law firm in Buffalo named Brown Chiari.

$491K Awarded in Iowa Nursing Home Abuse Lawsuit

Monday, January 3rd, 2011

Following an accident that resulted in the death of a Grinnell’s Friendship Manor Care Center resident, a jury has awarded $491,747 to Wilbur Jackson’s estate.

Jackson, who was 89 years old in June of 2009 when the accident took place, was being rolled out on a gurney for transport by ambulance to a nearby hospital or tests.  Jackson was strapped in to the gurney when the wheels struck a crack in the walkway causing the gurney to flip.  Wilbur Jackson’s head hit the pavement, which resulted in a coma from which he failed to recover.  He died the following month.

The ambulance service was found responsible for $54,639 of the total award, which exceeded $546,000.  The jury found that the nursing home was 90% at fault in the accident, leaving Midwest Ambulance responsible for 10% of the blame.

Jackson was a retired farmer who had resided at the nursing home only 17 days when the accident occurred.  He was at the facility on what was intended to be a short-term stay to receive rehabilitation treatment on a hip that had been surgically repaired.  Following the tragic accident, Jackson succumbed on July 5th of 2009, leaving behind Mabel Jackson, his wife of 64 years.

After the family of Jackson sued the South Dakota company that owns Friendship Manor, a Polk County jury ruled in the family’s favor.

Richard Achenbach, administrator at the facility at the time of the accident, stated in his deposition that after examining the cracks in the sidewalk on the morning following the accident, he made repairs to the cracks.  According to Achenbach, “When I seen the crack like that, I considered it could be a safety issue”.

The facility was also fined $3,250 by the federal government following Jackson’s death.  Of the $491,747 judgment against the facility, $425,000 was awarded to compensate Mabel Jackson for loss of consortium.  This demonstrated that the jury was aware of the meaning of a long-term marital relationship, even though the marriage was likely nearing the end of its natural life expectancy.

An accident such as this one is a real tragedy.  While something as unexpected as hitting a crack in no way resembles physical abuse and neglect intentionally inflicted on residents, it still demonstrates that the nursing home ignored potential dangers.

New York based Brown Chiari is a reputable nursing home abuse and neglect law firm specializing in the rights and protection of our elderly loved ones.  Contact us today to learn of rights your loved one may have, or if you suspect neglect or abuse of your family member.

Nursing Assistant Arrested for Sexual Abuse of Resident at Buffalo Nursing Home

Monday, January 3rd, 2011

Paul Scott, a nursing assistant at the Hawthorn Health Multicare Center for Living, has been arrested for allegedly sexually abusing an elderly disabled resident of the nursing home facility.  Police were called to the nursing home at approximately 6:45 on Saturday, November 20th.  Another employee of the facility reported the incident, according to sources.

The victim is a 77 year old woman who reportedly suffers from dementia.  The maximum prison time for this offense is seven years if charged with first degree sexual abuse.  Attorneys are still investigating the incident to determine what charges should be brought against the 30 year old nursing assistant.  On the 21st of November, Scott pleaded not guilty and was freed on $10,000 bond on Monday.

If the allegations are true, this is a crime that is disgusting and outrageous.  According to the State Health Department, there have been no reports of abuse at the facility for the past ten years.

Hawthorn Health Multicare is owned by Presbyterian Homes of Western New York according to the state health department.  Approximately 122 residents live at the center, which provides short and long term care.

Nursing home abuse and neglect does not always involve negligent care, physical abuse or mental abuse – it sometimes involves sexual abuse.  While we hear stories of physical abuse and negligence all too frequently, sexual abuse is a topic we seldom hear associated with nursing homes, but it does happen.  Any type of abuse inflicted on our elderly loves ones in a nursing home or elder care facility must also be considered mental abuse, as we cannot imagine how these things affect the minds of our loved ones.

Brown Chiari is a dedicated New York nursing home abuse and neglect law firm dedicated to representing the rights of nursing home patients and residents.  Contact us to learn about rights your loved one has, or if you suspect neglect or abuse by those paid to care for your loved one.