November 28, 2012
Earlier this month, 39-year-old nurse, Rebecca LeAnn Smith, plead guilty to nursing home abuse and neglect against a resident in an El Dorado County, California, nursing home. This week, a 2nd nurse was summoned to trial in connection with the death and abuse of the same victim.
In 2008, 58-year-old Donna Darlene Palmer was the director of nursing at the El Dorado Care Center. She was also responsible for the daily care and needs of resident, Johnnie Esco. According to the attorney general, Smith failed to properly perform her duties, failed to supervise others correctly, and failed to help Esco in time, which led to her unnecessary and untimely death.
Earlier this month, Smith plead no contest to a felony nursing home abuse charge in exchange for a lighter sentence consisting of the chance of no jail time and her assistance in testifying against Palmer. In addition, another employee testified that she was ordered by Palmer to not send Esco to a hospital for two days in a row, even though the patient’s condition was worsening each day.
In addition to facing criminal charges, Palmer may also face civil charges should Esco’s husband, Don Esco, retain a nursing home abuse attorney and file a lawsuit.