Nursing Home Abuse in Alabama
Alabama Activists Try to Curb Sexual Nursing Home Abuse
July 15, 2012
The Alabama Silver Haired Legislature, a non-profit group that advocates for older citizens, are trying to get a bill passed that would require nursing homes and other care facilities to notify residents when people who have been convicted of sexual abuse move into the facility.
A similar bill was brought to the Alabama legislature back in 2010 but it did not move forward. However, the Alabama Silver Haired Legislature are determined to get the bill passed this time around.
A representative from the group recalled the story of a 93-year-old woman he knows of who was sexually abused by a repeat sex offender. The group believes their proposed bill is what is needed to avoid these types of attacks.
Virginia and Oklahoma are the only two states that have passed this type of law.
Nursing home abuse takes many forms. Most of us don’t think of sexual abuse in nursing homes as very prevalent; sadly, sexual nursing home abuse happens all the time.
Experienced nursing home abuse lawyers have the expertise to represent you and your family if you experience this or any other form of nursing home abuse.
Alabama Lawmakers Push New Bill for Elder and Nursing Home Abuse
April 24, 2013
A new bill that will charge people accused of elder and nursing home abuse with a felony is being pushed by Alabama lawmakers. Senator Cam Ward joined the lawmakers this week in Alabaster to go over the details.
Lawmakers are pushing the new bill after studies have shown that although over 6,000 cases of nursing home abuse happen each year, a good fraction of them are never reported. Lawmakers are hoping the new bill will change this.
Most cases of elder and nursing home abuse have been financial exploitation and neglect. For example, Virginia Hick was charged with exploiting over $2 million from an elderly family member for close to four years. Yet, her 10-year-sentence would have been the same as if she had only stolen a few hundred dollars. Lawmakers feel that the punishments for this type of abuse are too lenient.
If the bill passes, all elder and nursing home abuse cases will be considered felonies, with stricter punishments, including longer prison sentences for those found guilty. The bill recently passed Senate and is now expected to go through to the full house.
Senior citizens and other supporters are encouraged to show local lawmakers their support of the new bill.
If you or a loved one have been victim to elder or nursing home abuse, an experienced nursing home abuse attorney may be able to assist you. Our leading Texas nursing home abuse lawyers at McIver Brown law firm have helped numerous clients achieve the justice they deserve. Give them a call today for a free consultation.
Alabama Man Arrested for Nursing Home Abuse
July 26, 2013
A former staff member at an Altoona, Alabama nursing home was arrested this week for nursing home abuse after being accused of assaulting an elderly female resident of the facility.
According to reports, the arrest was made after an incident last December in which James Dean Justice, 44, allegedly assaulted one of the residents at the Altoona Health and Rehabilitation Inc. nursing home. On December 26, Justice struck the resident. Administration at the nursing home contacted authorities shortly after.
After months of investigations, a local attorney with the Medicaid Fraud Unit in Alabama handed over evidence to an Etowah grand jury last month. A warrant was then issued for Justices’ arrest. He was arrested this Wednesday but was released on a $5,000 bond.
Justice faces a Class C felony charge of abuse of a protected person. If found guilty, he could face a fine of $15,000 and up to 15 years in prison.
Details regarding the health of the victim have not yet been released.
If you or a loved one have been victim to nursing home abuse and/or neglect, it’s imperative to retain the legal services of an experienced nursing home abuse attorney. You may be entitled to damages for medical bills, pain, suffering, and more. At McIver Brown law firm, our award-winning nursing home abuse lawyers will fight to ensure you have the best chance in getting the justice that you’re entitled to. For more information, give us a call today for a free consultation.
Alabama Man Arrested for Sexual Nursing Home Abuse
July 09, 2013
An Elba, Alabama man was arrested last week after being accused of sexually assaulting a local nursing home resident.
According to reports, 63-year-old Norman Spence Daniels has been charged with a felony count of first-degree sexual abuse after a complaint was filed against him. The complaint, which came on July 2 from the Elba Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, states that both Daniels, along with the victim, are current residents of the facility.
After an in-depth investigation and interviews, Daniels was arrested and booked into the Coffee County Jail on a $15,000 bond. Along with the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences, the case is being investigated by the 12th Judicial Circuit District Attorneys’ Office and the Elba Police Department. Details surrounding the alleged abuse has not yet been made public.
Alabama has been home to several instances of nursing home abuse over the past year. In fact, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), there are currently a few Alabama nursing homes with infractions so severe that they’ve been named a special focus facility. Special focus facilities have repeated histories of abuse and/or neglect and are therefore monitored more frequently and mandated to successfully remedy the situations. If the nursing homes fail to do so, they risk losing Medicare funding and facing other consequences.
If you or your loved one has been victim to nursing home abuse, an experienced nursing home abuse attorney can assist you. Our leading nursing home abuse lawyers at McIver Brown have helped numerous clients, and will happy to provide you with a free consultation. Contact us today for more information.
Alabama Nursing Aide Arrested for Nursing Home Abuse
August 17, 2011
A former certified nursing aide at Golden Living Center nursing home in Pell City, Alabama was arrested for assaulting a resident. The aide was immediately fired after the abuse and faces one to ten years in prison and a maximum fine of $15,000.
The former nursing aide is accused of hitting a resident in the face and was indicted for Abuse of a Protected Person. Evidence of the abuse was presented to a St. Clair County grand jury by the Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit.
Unfortunately, physical abuse of nursing home residents happens throughout our country. It is vital in the fight against nursing home abuse and neglect that family members of nursing home residents make regular visits to their relative’s nursing home and watch for signs of nursing home abuse or neglect.
If you suspect abuse or neglect is occurring you need to contact the authorities and speak with a nursing home abuse lawyer to discuss your legal options.
Alabama Passes Strict Laws on Elder and Nursing Home Abuse
May 27, 2013
A new bill, entitled “Protecting Alabama’s Elders Act” was passed last week in Montgomery, Alabama. The new bill enforces stricter penalties on those found guilty of elder and nursing home abuse in the state of Alabama.
According to the Interagency Council for the Prevention of Elder Abuse, the new bill was created after several instances of elder abuse went without criminal punishment if the elderly victim wasn’t physically and/or mentally impaired. The new bill, however, mandates that any person over the age of 6o, regardless of health or mental condition, will be protected.
Elder and nursing home abuse in Alabama is defined as any physical abuse, neglect, and financial exploitation. Anyone found guilty of abuse will now face either first, second, or third-degree abuse charges, depending upon the severity of abuse. For example, someone found guilty of unintentional neglect may face a Class a misdemeanor charge while anyone physically threatening or harming an elder can face a class A felony charge.
In addition, charges for financial exploitation will also depend on the severity of the crime. A misdemeanor charge is classified as financial exploitation in the amount of $500 or less. Anything exceeding $2,500 is classified as a class B felony, which carries up to a 10-year prison sentence.
The current penalties for elder and nursing home abuse carried out by Alabama’s Adult Protective Services (APS) will still remain. The new bill, however, provides a way for police, investigators, and other authorities to help fight the abuse as well.
If your loved one has been victim to nursing home abuse, an experienced nursing home abuse attorney may be able to assist you. At McIver Brown Law Firm, our leading team of Texas nursing home abuse lawyers have helped numerous victims go on to successfully win their cases. Give us a call today for a free consultation.
Alabama Residents to Wear Purple for Nursing Home Abuse Awareness
June 14, 2013
Today marks World Elder Abuse Day, and to help show support, the Tuscaloosa Department of Human Resources (DHR), in Alabama, is asking everyone to wear purple to raise awareness for victims of elder and nursing home abuse.
According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), there are several Alabama nursing homes throughout the state that are currently being monitored after investigations revealed a series of severe deficiencies and infractions, such as medical neglect, filthy living conditions, physical abuse, nutrition neglect, and much more. As a result, Joy Humphrey, director of DHR, feels that residents in Alabama need to become more aware of the ongoing problem:
“Because the elderly are often dependent on others for their care and may become isolated, they are primary targets for abuse, neglect and exploitation. Sadly, victims are most often abused, neglected and exploited by individuals who are known and trusted by the elderly person, said Humphrey.
Anyone who suspects any kind of elder and nursing home abuse in Alabama should immediately call 1-800-458-7214. Local Tuscaloosa residents can call DHR directly at 205-554-1100.
Keep in mind that if you or a loved one have been victim to any form of nursing home abuse and/or neglect, an experienced nursing home lawyer can help you. At McIver Brown law firm, our award-winning team of nursing home abuse attorneys have helped many victims go on to win maximum financial compensation for their cases. For more information and for a free consultation, give us a call today.
Family Wins Nursing Home Abuse Lawsuit in Alabama
July 17, 2013
An Alabama nursing home was found guilty this week by an arbitrator who determined that the facility was responsible for the nursing home abuse and neglect that led to the death of a resident.
According to court documents, Joe Moore, 77 was admitted into Montgomery’s South Haven nursing home in 2011. He was only admitted in order to get physical therapy after a recent fall. He was expected to return home within a month. However, when he was released a little over 30 days later, he had a severely infected pressure ulcer. Consequently, he died shortly afterwards.
Dr. Jim Lauridson, a former Alabama state medical examiner, testified that Moore’s wound stemmed from lying in bed too long without being moved. In addition, a nurse testified that there were several instances if medical discrepancies in Moore’s medical record. For instance, according to the nurse, records of wound care were already in the victim’s medical records before a physician had provided any orders.
Although a jury and court trial was replaced by an arbitrary agreement, the results were in the victim’s favor. Moore’s family was awarded $375,000 against the nursing home.
Keep in mind that if you or a loved one have suffered from nursing home abuse and/or neglect, you may be eligible for financial compensation, and an experienced nursing home abuse attorney can assist you. Our dedicated team of award-winning nursing home abuse lawyers at McIver Brown law firm have helped numerous clients. Give us a call today for a free, no-obligation consultation.
Facility Shut Down After Resident Goes Missing
July 10, 2013
A Montgomery, Alabama nursing home was forced to permanently close after a resident went missing and wasn’t noticed to be missing until family complaints. Negligent care is a form of nursing home abuse and can result not only in substantial fines, but an indefinite closing of the facility.
According to Dr. Walter Geary of the Alabama Department of Public Health Provider Standards, a male resident of the Cedar Hills Assisted Living facility snuck out of his bedroom window in June and then found a ride to the home of family members in the nearby town of Verdana. However, it was only after the resident’s family members reported that he was at their home in Verdana that staff members at the nursing home noticed that he was missing.
Following the incident, Cedar Hills was placed on watch by the Department of Health, and Dr. Geary, along with a team of inspectors, observed the facility over the course of a weekend. The following Monday, an emergency suspension was placed on the nursing home, and its 50 residents had to be relocated. Per Geary, there were other infractions observed during the weekend watch:
“ There are specific regulations the facility has to comply with. We went into the facility to investigate and we found that the employees were not paying attention to their residents as they should be,” Geary said.
Fortunately, with the help of other area nursing homes, the residents at Cedar Hills found new homes within 48 hours.
If you or a loved one has been victim to nursing home abuse, keep in mind that it’s important to have an experienced nursing home abuse lawyer by your side. At McIver Brown law firm, our team of leading nursing home abuse attorneys have helped numerous victims win the justice they’re entitled to. Give us a call today for a free consultation.
Employee Accused of Nursing Home Abuse to Enter Plea
October 25, 2012
An Alabama woman who was accused of nursing home abuse earlier this year in August is expected to enter a plea today at the Alabaster courthouse.
Patricia Hockaday, along with three other employees, were accused of nursing home abuse after family members of the victim placed hidden cameras in the Chandler Health and Rehab Center in Alabaster.
According to the Alabaster Police, there were several incidents that were caught on camera that prompted them to start an investigation. Two employees were caught repeatedly yanking a cord that was attached to one of the nursing home patients. Another employee was caught yelling and engaging in an argument with a patient, and in turn, may have struck out. The camera was too dark to determine if any physical abuse ensued after the argument.
After reviewing the tape, four employees were immediately fired, and a warrant was issued for their arrest. Hockaday, along with William Dixon Jr. and Robert Butler Jr., turned themselves in to the police. However, an outstanding warrant was issued for Janice Lashun Robinson, who was arrested a month later.
The director of the nursing home, Joe Meadows, stated that abuse is never tolerated:
“The center responded swiftly once we were made aware of these actions,” Meadows said. “The individuals are no longer employed here. We have filed reports with local and state agencies who are currently investigating this case.”
Hockaday, who was accused of abusing a paralyzed patient, will find out her fate after her plea today. The other three assailants are expected to appear in court at a later date. If found guilty, she could potentially face prison time. In addition, the family has the right to seek out a nursing home abuse lawyer in order to file a civil action suit against both the employees and the nursing home.