Nursing Home Abuse Leads to Arrest of Nursing Aid at North Bergen Nursing Home

Wednesday, April 27th, 2011

A 59-year-old nursing aid, Julia C. Galvan, was arrested following abuse of an 87-year-old resident who later died, although it is not believed her death was due to a slap on the top of the head administered by Galvan.  Modesta Alvarado was awakened from her sleep as Galvan slapped the top of her head, according to police.  After the initial slap, Alvarado watched with eyes and mouth wide open as the nurses aid delivered two more forceful blows.  She was found dead by staff at the Harborage nursing home less than 24 hours after the fatal blows.

The New Jersey nursing home is a 245 bed facility located at 7600 River Road in North Bergen.  Police were stunned as they watched the video, taken by a “nanny cam” that had been hidden in a clock radio.  According to Police Lt. Rank Canella, the video was very disturbing; Canella said that it was hard to watch, as the victim was lying in bed defenseless.

Galvan, a resident of North Bergen, was arrested and charged with neglect of elderly charges, abandonment and assault.  She posted a $5,000 bail, but was terminated by the nursing home facility.

The victims daughter presented the police with the video evidence of Galvan assaulting her mother.  She had become suspicious after seeing bruises on her mother, and had placed the “nanny cam” in the clock to record footage over a one week time period.  In the video, Galvan was also shown ripping the victim’s oxygen mask violently from her face, which she was not authorized to do as a nurse’s aid.

Alvarado’s death was not directly caused by the attack according to police, but the case has been turned over to the Hudson County Prosecutors Office along with the video evidence for review.

Canella said that when Galvan was questioned as to why she did what she did, she told police that she suffers from depression and was stressed.  The state Dept. of Health was notified and was investigating the incident further.  Overall, Harborage has a four-star rating and was recently given a five-star rating following a health inspection, however the facility only received one star in regards to staffing levels.

To think that a nursing home staff member would treat an elderly person in such a way is simply unfathomable.  We expect our elderly loved ones to be cared for and treated with respect and dignity, but this is often not the case.

If you suspect a loved one is being abused or neglected in a nursing home facility, contact the Buffalo NY nursing home abuse and neglect lawyers at Brown Chiari.  Buffalo injury attorneys with vast experience in nursing home abuse cases.

Chicago Nursing Home Fined $30,000 Due to Numerous Type “A” Violations

Wednesday, April 27th, 2011

It seems that more and more frequently, nursing homes across the nation are violating basic health, care and safety laws regarding the residents that live in these facilities.  Recently, a Chicago area nursing home was fined $30,000 after receiving numerous type “A” violations from the Illinois Department of Public Health.  Type “A” violations are the most serious a nursing home can receive because these types of violations increase the likelihood of injuries or death in residents.

The nursing home that was fined $30,000, Lexington of Orlando Park, was recently investigated when it was found that staff members at the facility failed to treat or properly monitor pressure sores (also called bed sores) which led to serious complications in an 82-year-old resident.

The 82-year-old male resident was suffering from dementia and other behavioral disturbances  During a visit to the doctor, the man reported pain in his heel area to the doctor, who found upon removing the resident’s shoe that there was a large wound on the heel.  While the doctor prescribed treatment for the pressure sore, staff members at Lexington of Orlando Park failed to continue treatment which involved applying medication and changing the bandage frequently.  The wound went unchecked by employees, and the pressure sore deteriorated.

Over time, the pressure sore continued to grow and eventually gangrene developed which led to further complications including loss of circulation in his leg.  When the violations were issued, doctors were still debating upon whether the resident’s leg should be removed.

We expect our elderly loved ones to be fed, bathed and properly cared for in nursing homes; those who are unable to turn should be turned in their beds in order to help avoid the development of bed sores.  It doesn’t seem too much to ask that staff members apply medication and change bandages frequently in the case of the elderly man mentioned in this story.  It would likely have prevented the further deterioration and potential amputation of his leg.

Brown Chiari is a team of Lancaster NY nursing home abuse lawyers dedicated to protecting the rights of nursing home residents and their families.  Call us for a free evaluation.

Family Awarded Over $9 Million in Georgia Nursing Home Lawsuit

Wednesday, April 27th, 2011

The family of Pauline Dean, a 51-year-old resident of Country Crossing Assisted Living who died in 2006 after being rushed to Hutcheson Medical Center for untreated bedsores that had become infected, has been awarded $9,502,683 recently by a Walker County State Court jury.

The family filed a wrongful death lawsuit after the facility failed to treat bed sores that had become infected, resulting in Dean’s death.  Dean suffered from cerebral palsy; Country Crossing Assisted Living and Hutcheson Home Health Care were both named as defendants in the lawsuit.  Dean had multiple bed sores that were neglected by staff at the assisted living facility, resulting in infection.

Pain and suffering as well as funeral expenses were included in the $9 million awarded to the family.  According to Dean’s attorney, Country Crossing Assisted Living was hired to provide around-the-clock care for Dean, but were only treating her for one pressure ulcer.  $4 million was awarded for pain and suffering and $5.5 million for wrongful death, with $2,683 being awarded for funeral expenses.

Bed sores or pressure ulcers often occur in individuals who are not mobile and incapable of moving freely on their own, such as turning over in bed.  Bed sores are easily treated if staff members provide proper care by treating the ulcers and turning the individual on a regular basis.  When pressure ulcers go untreated, they often become infected.  These infections move in to the bloodstream, and are also commonly called sepsis.

It is a shame that something that is so easily treated led to the death of Pauline Dean.  This demonstrates the negligence often found in nursing homes and assisted living facilities today.  Whether there is a shortage of staff to give residents the care and attention they need, or staff members simply do not care whether they take proper care of these individuals, it is completely unacceptable.

Many nursing homes today hire staff through temporary staffing agencies.  Sometimes these agencies do not perform a proper background check, and many individuals who go to work at nursing homes are not qualified; some even have criminal backgrounds.

If you suspect nursing home abuse or neglect of your loved one, contact the New York nursing home abuse and neglect attorneys at Brown Chiari.   Buffalo personal injury attorneys at Brown Chiari can help you with a free consultation if you have a loved one involved in Nursing home abuse or neglect.