Nursing Home Abuse in Georgia
Two People Killed and One Injured in Georgia Nursing Home Fire
April 9, 2013
An early morning fire broke out last month at a Tucker, Georgia nursing home that has left one person dead and two injured. Although smoking in bed was the cause of the fire, the nursing home itself may face charges of nursing home abuse and neglect for failing to properly monitor patients.
According to reports, the fire broke out at close to 3 a.m. on March 26 at the Meadowbrook Healthcare Center in Tucker. The Dekalb County fire department was dispatched to put out the fire, which according to Dekalb Fire Chief Edward O’Brien, was contained to only room. The room was located on the upper floor, but the sprinkler system doused the entire building. One victim died, while two others were rushed to a local hospital for smoke inhalation and trauma.
The victim was identified as 64-year-old Laura Bennett. The fire department ruled the fire as accidental, yet, there are some concerns that the nursing home staff may not have been properly monitoring the patients. If investigations reveal neglect, the victims’ loved ones have the right to retain a Georgia nursing home attorney and file for civil damages.
Yet another fire broke out in a Georgia nursing home last month in Macon. 82-year-old Betty Smith, a resident of the Rosewood Nursing Center, died from smoke inhalation on March 25. In this instance, a failure in the mechanical room of the facility caused a fire. An additional 11 residents were taken to a local hospital.
Sources: http://www.macon.com/2013/04/02/2421222/elderly-woman-dies-a-week-after.html http://www.ajc.com/news/news/local/one-reportedly-dead-in-dekalb-nursing-home-fire/nW4Rk/
Two Indicted for Murder in Georgia Nursing Home Abuse Incident
January 2, 2013
A jury in Clayton County, Georgia has indicted two former nursing home workers with murder after nursing home abuse led to fatal injuries.
According to reports, 27-year-old Jerry Lamar Richardson and 44-year-old Esther Orerome Edukuye not only failed to provide adequate care to the elderly, but also beat a senior citizen to death, causes multiple blunt force injuries. As a result, 58-year-old Robert Rosenthal died from the neglect and beatings.
Edukuye, a registered nurse, was the owner of the Guided Hands nursing home in Jonesboro. Richardson worked as a laborer and has no previous training or certifications to work with the elderly.
Edukuye was arrested shortly after the incident, on December 19, and being held without bond. Richardson, however, is believed to have fled the state. A fugitive warrant has been secured for his arrest. Both individuals have been indicted for felony murder and abuse of an elderly person. Edukuye faces additional charges of neglect and failure to report to protective service. She is expected to be arraigned on January 9th.
Along with criminal charges, the defendants may also be up against civil charges should the victim’s family retain a Georgia nursing home abuse lawyer and file for personal damages.
Three Georgia Nursing Home Residents Claim Nursing Home Abuse
May 13, 2013
Three elderly residents of a Columbus, Georgia nursing home have reported nursing home abuse to police last week after complaining of sexual assault.
According to police reports, Columbus police detectives are now investigating the allegations that reportedly happened at the River Town nursing home on Warm Springs Road. Per three female victims, two of the male residents attacked them on two different occasions.
The victims, whose names have not been released, are ages 53, 54, and 75. All three victims live in a wing of the nursing home that cannot be accessed by the public, and they have no way to even call family members if an emergency arises.
Shortly after the allegations, the River Town Administration made a statement:
“Late last week, management of River Towne was made aware of an allegation made by a female resident of sexual assault by a male resident. We take any allegation very seriously and immediately contacted the local police department and the State Department of Health. In addition, we immediately launched our own internal investigation. The police conducted an investigation and no charges were filed. The resident who was accused of the alleged assault is no longer a resident of this center.”
“In the course of our own internal investigation and interviews with residents, two additional allegations were shared regarding alleged sexual touching by one male resident to two separate residents. The allegations were reported to the police as well as the State Department of Health and we are cooperating fully. We believe that these will be found to be unsubstantiated allegations and expect the police to concur when their investigation is complete,” an administrator from River Town said.
However, the investigation is still ongoing, and if infractions are found, the nursing home may be liable for damages, regardless if they believe the allegations are substantial or not.
If you or a loved one have been victim to nursing home abuse, an experienced nursing home abuse attorney may be able to assist you. Nursing home abuse lawyers have helped many clients go on win maximum financial compensation. Call today for a free consultation.
Nursing Home Abuse Runs Amok at a Troubled Georgia Retirement Facility
September 2, 2011
Three workers at Winterville Retirement Center in Athens, Georgia have been indicted on charges that include physical and financial abuse of the residents at the nursing home.
Arrests were made over a three month period earlier this year after investigations revealed a nursing aide had punched a resident in the face for taking some extra butter at the food hall. After that resident passed away–apparently not due to her injuries, which came from hitting a food cart and the floor after being punched–another worker at the nursing home stole more than 100 Xanax pills that had been prescribed to the now deceased resident. The worker was arrested and had theft related charges brought against her.
The administrator of the nursing home was also arrested and charged with theft and exploitation after an investigation revealed that she had stolen Social Security and pension checks from a resident, and even sold a special lift chair which had been donated to the nursing home in memory of a former resident. The administrator removed the dedication plaque from the chair, sold the chair, and took the money.
In some facilities nursing home abuse and neglect are indeed running rampant and cases of abuse should be reported to authorities immediately. But even at seemingly well-run facilities abuse can indeed occur. It is always best to get in touch with a nursing home abuse attorney to see what legal action can be taken against the abusers.
More on Georgia Nursing Home Abuse Case
May 12, 2011
In addition to the administrator at Winterville Retirement Center in Georgia being arrested for stealing money from a resident, two other workers at the nursing home have been arrested over the past two months for other acts of nursing home abuse.
The other arrests came after a worker punched an 82-year-old female resident in the head for taking butter from the dining area. The resident died shortly after the attack and the incident is being looked into by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation as to whether the attack led to her death.
Another employee at the nursing home was charged with stealing the deceased resident’s medication, over 100 Xanax tablets. The stolen medication was found at the home of the employee.
“Your agency is as good as your top person, that’s the best way to sum it up,” said Sgt. Jimmy Fulcher. “If your leader is corrupt, what’s the rest of the crowd going to do except possibly follow them?”
If you or a loved one has been a victim of nursing home abuse, please notify the police immediately and contact a qualified nursing home abuse lawyer.
Georgia Woman Convicted of Nursing Home Abuse
February 26, 2013
A Dekalb County woman who ran a nursing home out of her own house was convicted this Monday of several counts of nursing home abuse after a jury found that residents were being abused and mistreated while living in unsanitary conditions.
According to officials at the Dekalb County District Attorney’s Office, Bobbie Ward, a former secretary, was charged last month with 21 nursing abuse charges that happened to six victims over a time span of five years. Ward opened her home to senior citizens, offering them a safe home where she would emotionally and medically provide for them. Instead, the victims ended up living in poor conditions while they were abused. Not only did Ward neglect the elderly residents, but she also tapped into their financial accounts, stole their identities, and took their money.
Wards charges include exploitation of the elderly, neglect of disabled and elderly adults, forgery, false imprisonment, and several additional identity fraud charges.
District Attorney Robert James of Dekalb County said in a recent statement that this sort of behavior is unacceptable in his county:
“This sentence sends a resounding message that elder and disabled adult exploitation will not be tolerated in DeKalb County.She relentlessly preyed on vulnerable adults and exploited them for her own personal financial gain.”
Ward was initially indicted in 2011, yet as more victims came forward, she was indicted again. On top of criminal charges, Ward may also face civil charges should the victims retain a Georgia nursing home abuse attorney and file for personal injury damages. However, Ward was also sentenced to pay restitutions to the first victim that came forward: an elderly lady who was able to sneak out of a window in the home and call police.
Along with the restitution, Ward was sentenced to 20 years in prison and 10 years on probation.
Georgia Nursing Home Staff Members and Owner Face Nursing Home Abuse Charges
July 03, 2013
A total of 21 staff members, along with the owner of a Commerce, Georgia nursing home all face abuse charges of nursing home abuse after reports of abuse of several elderly Alzheimer’s patients.
According to police reports, the owner and staff members face a total of 70 criminal charges after severe instances of abuse at Alzheimer’s Care of Commerce was reported. The abuse included tying residents up with bedsheets, hitting them, and throwing water in their face. In addition, some staff members put two diapers each on residents so that they wouldn’t have to change them once they soiled themselves.
Investigators were also able to uncover that several of the staff members working at the nursing home were convicted felons. Furthermore, per the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, Donna Wright, owner of the nursing, faces charges of financial exploitation, abuse, and neglect.
This Tuesday, 11 of the staff members were arrested, and police state the others will be detained shortly. Wright, however, has not been found yet.
Three of the 27 residents were taken to the hospital with serious medical issues. The rest of the residents will be placed in alternate nursing homes.
If your loved one have been victim to nursing home abuse, an experienced nursing home abuse attorney is imperative in order to seek the maximum financial compensation that you deserve. Nursing home abuse attorneys have helped numerous victims win the justice they’re entitled to. Call today for a free consultation.
Georgia Nursing Home Faces Multiple Abuse Charges
May 24, 2013
In an attempt to find all nursing homes in Atlanta that are failing their residents, the Atlanta Journal and Constitution (AJC) found a nursing home with many instances of nursing home abuse that has slipped through the system for several years.
According to AJC, the reason that the Bethlehem, Georgia nursing home hasn’t been caught yet is because as an unlicensed facility it doesn’t have regular inspections that nursing homes funded by Medicare and/or Medicaid have. Investigative journalists, however, uncovered a series of abuse. For example, several residents were burned with curling irons, beaten down with belts, locked in basements, and forced to use buckets instead of regular toilets. In addition, their pension and public assistance checks were stolen.
Although personal homes are still required to undergo inspections and possess a valid license to operate, many of these facilities operate “under the table” and DCH has no idea they even exist. Known as rogue operators, the owners and managers of these types of nursing homes usually have poor quality care and a series of abuse and neglect issues.
Because of the severity of the recent abuse, the state of Georgia will have a new law starting July 1 that will impose more serious penalties on these facilities. Before, owners found operating a nursing without a license would have a month to get one. Now, however, the new law mandates that the first offense with operating without a license will be a misdemeanor charge, and a second offense will be a felony. The state will also be allowed to immediately impose fines on unlicensed facilities.
Additionally, the Georgia Bureau of Investigations (GBI) now has permission to investigate unlicensed nursing homes. However, without the funding from the state, a warrant has to be issued for each nursing home before an investigation can begin.
To report abuse in Atlanta, witnesses, loved ones, and/or concerned citizens should call the Healthcare Facility Regulation at 1-800-878-6442 or Adult Protective Services at 1-888-774-0192.
If you or a loved one have been victim to nursing home abuse, an experienced attorney may be able to assist you. Nursing home abuse lawyers have the experience and knowledge to help you have a successful chance in winning your case. Call today for a free consultation.
Georgia Nursing Home Administrator Arrested for Financial Nursing Home Abuse
May 9, 2011
The former administrator of Winterville Retirement Center in Georgia was arrested after an investigation found she was stealing money from an Alzheimer’s patient. The woman was charged with five felonies for stealing from and exploiting an elderly or disabled person, and one misdemeanor theft charge.
Family of the Alzheimer’s patient said he had been telling them for some time that his money was being stolen; however the family did not at first believe him because of his mental condition. An investigation into the matter showed that the man was indeed having his money, and his brother’s money, stolen by the administrator of the nursing home.
“My uncle with Alzheimer’s had said someone was stealing his money all along, but we just brushed it off because we thought it was just in his mind,” said Donna Tower, niece of the victim.
Financial nursing home abuse in an all too common problem in our country. We urge family members of nursing home residents to be vigilant about any suspected abuse–financial or otherwise–and report the problem to authorities immediately and contact a nursing home abuse lawyer to see what legal action you can take.
Georgia Gets Tough on Nursing Home Abuse and Unlicensed Care
March 9, 2013
Police in Dekalb County, Georgia shut down four nursing homes and arrested two workers this week after investigations confirmed that the facilities were operating without the proper licensing. In the state of Georgia, providing elderly care without a license is considered nursing home abuse and carries heavy penalties.
According to the Dekalb Police, unlicensed personal nursing homes are breeding ground for a variety of abuse situations, from financial exploitation, lack of proper medical care, physical abuse, and more.
After an investigation performed last year by The Atlanta Journal and Constitution, the findings have shown that the worst cases of nursing home abuse in Georgia occur in facilities that are not licensed by the state to operate. Operating the facility without a license is a misdemeanor, and any repeat offenses are felonies.
At one of the recent closed locations, there was substantial evidence of abuse and neglect. The nursing home was located in a residential home off Columbia Drive in Decatur. Three mentally ill victims resided at the home, and reportedly suffered from lack of food and medical attention. The owner of the residence, Theresa Mcintosh, was arrested not only for operating this particular facility, but an additional two unlicensed nursing homes as well.
According to a neighbor, several of the nursing home’s residents have been walking around unsupervised, urinating outside, and buying medicine outside of a church located close to the home.
In addition to criminal charges that the former workers are facing, they may also face civil charges should the families of the victims retain a Georgia nursing home abuse attorney and file for damages.
Georgia CNA Charged with Nursing Home Abuse
November 26th, 2010
A Certified Nursing Assistant has been charged with abusing an elderly resident at a Calhoun, Georgia nursing home. The CNA at Calhoun Health Care was charged with simple battery of an 83-year-old resident.
Police Chief Garry Moss said the woman “intentionally made physical contact with a patient at a local nursing home.”
The abused resident reported she was put in a wheel chair and spun around several times after she had told the CNA to stop. Police say after interviewing people involved, the situation seems to have begun as a prank, but the accused CNA continued after the resident complained and the situation then turned into nursing home abuse. Police were also informed that the CNA put ice down the resident’s back.
“After interviewing everyone involved, it appears this incident started out as a prank,” public information officer Lt. Tony Pyle said. “However once the victim voiced a complaint, the offender was obligated to stop her actions.”
Georgia Caregiver Charged with Nursing Home Abuse
June 26, 2013
An Augusta, Georgia nursing home employee was arrested last week and charged with two different counts after complaints of nursing home abuse against an Alzheimer’s patient.
According to reports, 32-year-old Lashanda Annette Johnson, an employee at The Place nursing home off of Deans Bridge Road, reportedly woke up one of the elderly residents at the facility in order to change her bed sheets. For reasons not yet known, Johnson and the resident got into an argument. As a result, Johnson allegedly shoved the resident, who suffers from Alzheimers, back onto her bed. She then threatened more physical abuse if the victim tried to get up.
Richmond County police investigated the incident last week, which according to the official police report, occurred early Monday morning. After interviewing the suspect and witnesses, Johnson was arrested. She now faces one count of simple battery and one count of abuse of an elder and disabled adult. While police were at the nursing home, they also viewed a surveillance camera which confirmed the allegations of abuse.
Per Georgia law, anyone found guilty of nursing home abuse not only faces the possibility of hefty fines, but also prison time. Johnson’s court date has not yet been set.
If your loved one has been victim to nursing home abuse and/or neglect, keep in mind that you’ll need an experienced nursing home abuse attorney by your side should you decide to file suit. Nursing home abuse lawyers have helped numerous victims win the justice they deserve. For more information and a no-obligation consultation, feel free to call today.