Nursing Home Abuse in Minnesota
Trial Set for Minnesota Woman Accused of Nursing Home Abuse
September 29th, 2010
The trial for the Albert Lea, Minnesota woman charged with abusing residents at the Good Samaritan Society nursing home has been scheduled for Nov. 15-24.
Ashton Michelle Larson, 20, is charged with 17 counts, including fifth-degree assault, criminal abuse of a vulnerable adult, criminal abuse of a vulnerable adult involving sexual contact, disorderly conduct by a caregiver, and mandatory failure to report suspected abuse.
Four others were charged as juveniles while Larson and her co-defendant, Brianna Broitzman, were charged as adults.
Broitzman faces 15 counts. As part of a plea agreement, Broitzman pleaded guilty to three counts of disorderly conduct by a caregiver. Her sentencing is scheduled for Oct. 22.
This nursing home abuse case from 2008 involved the six young people charged performing humiliating abuse against dementia patients. The case helped break down stereotypes about abusers. It also lead to increased training for nursing home workers to help them better recognize and report nursing home abuse and nursing home neglect.
Sexual Nursing Home Abuse Allegations at Minnesota Nursing Home
March 23, 2012
A Minnesota Health Department report says a female nursing home resident was repeatedly sexually abused by a male staff member at Highland Chateau Health Care Center in St. Paul, Minnesota.
The alleged abuser was fired from the nursing home but police have not been able to reach him yet for questioning. The man has been accused of nursing home abuse and neglect at other nursing homes he has worked at. Charges have yet to be filled by prosecutors.
The Health Department’s report did not find the nursing home negligent in this case since they immediately reported the situation when it came to light and the accused man received proper training from the nursing home.
Sexual abuse is one of the more disturbing forms of abuse that happens at nursing homes across our country. When abuse or neglect is suspected it needs to be reported to the police immediately and family of the victim are encouraged to contact a nursing home abuse lawyer.
Resident at Minnesota Nursing Home Dies From Injuries Sustained From Fall
June 17, 2014
An 80-bed nursing home facility in Minnesota has been found responsible for the unfortunate death of a resident following a fall.
Maple Manor Health Care & Rehabilitation in Rochester failed to apply adequate safety precautions after problems arose from a mechanical lift put in place to move patients at the facility. The EZ lift as it is called was not properly maintained or inspected in the whole time that it was in place at the rehab center according to a state department of health report.
The investigative report into the incident by the same department revealed that the resident’s death was due to severe spine and scalp injuries following a fall from the lift. The resident was being moved from a bed to a wheelchair via the harness which was missing the safety catch and thus was not properly fastened, causing it to slip and the resident to fall four feet to the floor. They died five days later in hospital.
It was concluded that the nursing home did not put into practice any day-to-day preventative measures to ensure the safety of residents who used the EZ lift even though they knew for 6-9 months before the incident that the catches were coming off making them hazardous.
The EZ lift is an emergency patient handling device that is designed to provide rigid support while moving a fragile patient. The improper use of these mechanical lifts have contributed to many injuries and in some instances even death in nursing homes in Minnesota and beyond.
Falls are one of the most common injuries that occur in nursing homes around the country. The staff has a duty to ensure that patients and residents are not neglected or left to suffer from falls. For an elderly resident, a fall can cause severe head, neck and spine injuries including fractures and severe bleeding.
Call today for a free consultation and get started on your case with a dedicated nursing home abuse lawyer.
Proposed Minnesota Nursing Home Abuse Bill
April 11, 2011
Minnesota legislators are proposing a bill that would put those guilty of sexual nursing home abuse on the state’s registry of predatory offenders. The bill is now headed to the state senate.
Minnesota lawmakers say the increase in elder abuse spurred them into action.
“We have to step up our game in Minnesota to address this rise in abuse,” said Sen. Warren Limmer. “We need to make sure we’re staying on top of this problem and the perpetrators.”
The state’s current registry of predatory offenders includes persons convicted of sexual criminal conduct, kidnapping, soliciting a minor, or possessing child pornography. The proposed bill would add those convicted of Criminal Abuse of a Vulnerable Adult.
Local and federal goverments play an important role is combating nursing home abuse. But family members of nursing home residents should be vigilant in recognizing any signs of nursing home abuse and reporting the abuse to authorities immediately. You should also contact a nursing home abuse lawyer to discuss what legal action you can take.
Plea of Guilty in Minnesota Nursing Home Abuse Case
August 25th, 2010
A former nursing homer worker in Albert Lea, Minnesota has pleaded guilt to physically and sexually abusing nursing home residents. The woman’s plea of guilty covers gross-misdemeanor disorderly conduct involving three victims.
In 2008, the woman was part of a group of six high school friends working at the Good Samaritan nursing home. The six friends were accused of abusing or not reporting the abuse of patients with dementia. The group performed humiliating abuse against the patients apparently to entertain themselves at work.
Gaining widespread publicity in 2008, this nursing home abuse case was important in breaking down stereotypes about abusers, as well helping to increase training for nursing home workers to better recognize and report nursing home abuse and nursing home neglect.
“[The case has] toppled stereotypes about who sexual abusers might be, with appealing yearbook pictures instead of menacing mug shots of scruffy men,” said Iris Freeman, director of the Vulnerable Adult Justice Project at the William Mitchell College of Law in St. Paul. “But I think the more important issue is how well–or not well–nursing facilities are supervising people who care for vulnerable adults,” said Freeman.
Many of the family members of the victims have started a group called Families Against Nursing Home Abuse to advocate for long-term care reform.
Nursing Home Abuse Leads to Second Minnesota Death This Month
February 21, 2013
For the second time in February 2013 alone, another nursing home resident has died as a result of nursing home abuse and neglect in Minnesota. The latest incident occurred when an employee failed to provide CPR to an ill resident.
According to reports, a qualified staff member was called to the room of a resident at the Benedict Health Center in downtown Minneapolis. The resident was unable to breathe or blink. However, when the staff member arrived, no CPR was given and the victim died shortly after.
Although the owners of the nursing home stated that they can’t speculate what would have happened if CPR was actually performed, the staff member was fired regardless after an internal investigation. Additionally, the state’s Health Department performed an investigation and determined that the cause of death can’t be contributed to the fact that the victim was not given CPR. Yet, not even trying makes the staff member culpable of neglect and abuse. According to Stella French, the director of the Minnesota Health Department, staff member are required to attempt CPR unless the patient states otherwise.
The staff member also failed to contact the victim’s physician after a bout of nausea and vomiting, another state-mandated requirement.
Although Deputy Cheryl Hennen of the Ombudsman Long-Term Care stated that these situations are unique, this is the second time in one month that a nursing home resident has died when CPR was not performed. In early February, 85-year-old Luvern Kraft passed away in a Minnesota nursing home. Her family stated that resuscitation instructions were given, but the staff members failed to comply.
As of now, no criminal charges have been filed against the staff worker. However, the victim’s family has the right to retain a nursing home abuse attorney and file for civil damages.
New Minnesota Nursing Home Abuse Law
August 5, 2012
A new Minnesota law aimed at nursing home abuse and elder abuse in general means harsher punishment for those caught abusing the elderly. Those that intentionally neglect a vulnerable adult will now face felony charges.
The law was created after two Minnesota teens were convicted of sexually and physically abusing nursing home residents. The two girls, who worked at Good Samaritan Nursing Home in Albert Lea, were in jail only a couple months for their actions, which were at the time classified as misdemeanors.
Minnesota lawmakers aim to send a message to all would be abusers of the elderly or other vulnerable adults that these actions actions will be taken very seriously and will not be tolerated.
The two abusers, both teenagers at the time of the abuse, have openly displayed their remorse for their actions, which included spitting on, taunting, and pinching the breasts of elderly nursing home residents, some of which had Alzheimer’s.
We encourage anyone who was abused or neglected in a nursing home to contact a nursing home abuse lawyer. If you have a family member who you believe was abused contact the authorities and seek the legal advice of nursing home abuse lawyers who can help you get justice.
Minnesota Women Get Shortened Sentence in Nursing Home Abuse Case
February 21, 2012
Two Minnesota women convicted of sexually and psychologically abusing elderly nursing home residents only had to serve 42 days of their 180 day jail sentence. The nursing home abuse occurred at Good Samaritan Society in Albert Lea, Minnesota.
The two women, who abused nursing home residents as teenagers, were to serve their 180 day sentence in 60 day increments, but were allowed to ask the court to have the last two 60 day sentences waived after serving the first 60 day sentence. However, jail records show that the women only served 42 days of the first jail stint before being released from the rest of their sentence.
Both women expressed their regret over the abuse to victims’ family members, with one woman saying she will be “forever sorry” for her actions.
We encourage you to seek the help of a qualified nursing home abuse lawyer if you or a loved one was abused in a nursing home. An attorney is necessary to assist you in receiving financial compensation due to nursing home negligence.
Minnesota Nursing Home Cited for Wrongful Death
July 24, 2013
A Cold Spring, Minnesota nursing home was cited this week for nursing home abuse and neglect after a state investigation determined it was responsible for the wrongful death of a resident.
According to reports, the state investigation began after an incident in January in which a resident of the Assumption Home died after his head became lodged between his bed railing and a mattress. The resident, who suffered from dementia, already had a history of being prone to falls and accidents. Therefore, it was the responsibility of the staff members to ensure that he was always monitored.
Per the Minnesota Health Department, the nursing home has taken the necessary steps to ensure an accident like this never happens again. However, it was still cited and held responsible for the untimely death of the resident. State health commissioner Ed Ehlinger told the local press that regardless if the injury was intentional or not, staff members have a duty to ensure all residents are safe at all times:
“Nursing homes are entrusted with the care of vulnerable adults, and a death like this is totally unacceptable,” said Ehlinger.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration determined that at least 480 nursing home residents died as a result of bed rails between 1985 to 2009. State officials are in hopes that this latest incident will raise awareness of how important it is to monitor residents and to ensure that their bed rails are functioning correctly.
If you or a loved one has been victim to nursing home abuse, keep in mind that an experienced nursing home abuse attorney can help you. Nursing home abuse lawyers have helped numerous clients go on to get the justice they’re entitled to. Call today for a free consultation.
Minnesota Nursing Home Cited for Failing to Report Nursing Home Abuse
June 6, 2011
Bayshore Health Center in Duluth, Minnesota was cited and may be fined for failing to report incidents of nursing home abuse. A state inspection earlier in the year found two serious violations of federal nursing home rules meaning serious harm could have or did occur to a resident.
One incident involved a wheelchair bound resident being allowed outside to smoke without proper footwear which led to frostbite. Another resident has blisters on his legs after hot packs that were too hot were put on his legs by a worker at the nursing home.
Another incident involved a patient in a motorized wheelchair intentionally ramming other residents.
The state inspection found that the incidents were not properly reported and the state has recommended that the nursing home be fined $4,050 and a $200 daily fine until the the federal Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services makes a decision on the matter.
If you or someone you care about has been a victim of nursing home abuse or neglect we urge you to get in touch with an experienced nursing home abuse lawyer who can help you explore your legal options.
Minnesota Elder Advocate Gains New Perspective on Nursing Home Abuse
July 26, 2011
Minnesota Ombudsman for Long-Term Care, Deb Holtz, gained a new perspective on the nursing home abuse issues she routinely deals with after her self-described “dehumanizing” experience at a Minnesota rehab care facility. Holtz reported her experience to Minnesota newspaper the Star Tribune.
Holtz described her short stay at the nursing home as being treated not like a person but as a check mark on a to-do list. Upon entering the facility she said there was no formal greeting and she was left alone in her room for hours. Later a nurse came in and told Holtz she needed to strip for a bed sore check even though Holtz was mobile and not at risk. Holtz knew her rights and refused the treatment, but she knows many other residents would have simply gone along with the unnecessary treatment.
The next morning she was abruptly woken and told she needed to be weighed, again no greeting or attempt at common courtesy. The whole experience gave Holtz an uneasy feeling and she decided to check out after only 25 hours, instead opting for outpatient physical therapy.
Holtz says the experience has motivated her to raise awareness to nursing homes about the importance of patients’ rights and dignity issues.
If you or a loved one was mistreated at a nursing home you may be entitled to financial compensation. You should contact a nursing home abuse lawyer to discuss your rights.
Minnesota Care Facility Under Fire For Negligence of Elderly Resident
January 13, 2014
A resident at Dungarvin Park care facility in Minnesota who needed round the clock care and supervision has been left with a broken leg in a case of neglect. The Minnesota Department of Human Services launched an investigation into the facility, uncovering an unfathomable story of negligence in a nursing home.
The staff at the Dungarvin Park care facility were under instruction to transfer the elderly resident to a wheelchair which they began to do so with the aid of a mechanical lift. The resident was then moved from the facility’s living room to the hallway when a cracking sound was heard. Rather than check on the resident, the caregiver carried on moving the resident to their room. A Hoyer lift was then used to transfer the resident from the wheelchair to the bed. It was in this moment that staff finally noticed that the resident’s leg and hip area looked out of shape and was starting to turn blue. They called 911 and when paramedics arrived the resident was taken to Unity Hospital.
The resident was diagnosed with a femur fracture on their left leg, which doctors maintained was caused by a twisting motion most likely due to the foot rests or safety straps not being used on the resident’s feet, needed to keep the feet secure. The care facility was found guilty of neglecting the physical health of the resident.
If you have a loved one who is in a nursing home and you suspect that they are being neglected or not looked after in the proper way by any member of the nursing home team, then do not delay in seeking advice from a nursing home abuse lawyer. Don’t stay silent, stay informed and contact the team if you need further help from a nursing home abuse lawyer.
Jail Sentence Waived in Minnesota Nursing Home Abuse Case
February 16, 2012
Two women convicted of sexual and physical nursing home abuse as teenagers will have the last part of their jail sentence waived provided they meet with family members of the victims.
The two women were both sentenced to 180 days in jail for the abuse of elderly residents, some with Alzheimer’s disease, at Good Samaritan Nursing Home in Albert Lea, Minnesota. They were allowed to serve the jail term in 60 day increments, but only actually served the first 60 days, with the second and third 60 days waived by a judge.
The abuse involved the two women, teenagers at the the time, spitting on, taunting, and pinching the breasts of residents.
A nursing home abuse lawyer plays a pivotal role in holding abusers and nursing homes accountable for nursing home abuse and neglect. We advise you to contact such an attorney if you or a loved one has been abused in a nursing home.
Health Department Investigates Nursing Home Abuse in Minnesota
November 07, 2012
An aide at a local nursing home in Deephaven, Minnesota, has been accused of nursing home abuse after allegedly sexually assaulting a female resident on at least two occasions this year.
According to state investigations, a 43-year-old male, whose name has not been released, sexually abused a resident in March of this year, at the Lake Minnetonka Care Center while she was taking a shower. According to the victim, she felt used and distraught after the incident, which involved the aide touching her in inappropriate places.
The Minnesota Department of Health also stated that Soul Care LLC of Minneapolis; the contract agency that employed the assailant, did not suspend the aide from working after being notified. Earlier this year, Lake Minnetonka Care Center also took action against Soul Care LLC. According to Soul Care LLC’s manager, the company’s insurance paid the nursing home an undisclosed amount.
Meanwhile, the Deephaven Police are trying to put together a criminal case against the accused. However, according to Deephaven Police Chief Cory Johnson, criminal charges may be difficult:
“The guy has denied everything. Without a confession, it’s not going to go anywhere.”
However, lack of criminal charges cannot prevent the victim or the loved ones of the victim from hiring a nursing home abuse lawyer and filing a personal injury lawsuit if they choose to.
The names of both the aide and the victim have not been identified by the Health Department, but according to reports, the victim suffers from a personality disorder and schizophrenia.
Sentence Handed Down for Nursing Home Abuse in Albert Lea, Minn.
October 25th, 2010
Brianna Broitzman was sentenced last Friday to 180 days in jail for her part in sexually and physically abusing nursing home residents. Broitzman will serve 60 days immediately. She was taken directly to jail from the courtroom.
Her recommended sentence was doubled by the judge who said he was “appalled by her disregard for humanity.”
Broitzman has the option of petitioning the court to not serve the remaining 120 days. If she must serve the full time her next 60 day sentence will start in May and the remainder will begin in October 2011.
Broitzman will also be on probation for 2 years and serve 8 days of community service. In addition, she must undergo a psychological evaluation, and have no contact with vulnerable adults.
This nursing home abuse case from 2008 involves six young women abusing residents at the Good Samaritan Society in Albert Lea, Minnesota. The subsequent investigation found that the abuse went on for a period of five months.
Plea Deal Reached in Nursing Home Abuse Case
October 18th, 2010
Ashton Larson of Albert Lea, Minn. has reached a plea deal with prosecutors that will drop more than a dozen felony charges against the 20-year-old woman.
This nursing home abuse case saw Larson charged with about twenty counts of elder abuse in connection with her time spent working at the Good Samaritan Society of Albert Lea.
Larson’s pre-trial hearing was originally scheduled for last week but a plea deal has been reached and the trial has been canceled.
Attorney’s filed the plea as an Alford Plea, meaning Larson agrees there’s enough evidence against her that a jury could find her guilty but she isn’t admitting guilt.
In the deal, Larson pleaded guilty to three counts of disorderly conduct by a caregiver.
The judge has ordered a pre-sentence investigation to determine a sentence. The sentence is scheduled to be handed down on December 22, 2010.
This case has gained national attention as it involves the alleged sexual, physical, and emotional abuse of nursing home residents by teenage certified nursing assistants.
Facebook Could Cause Problems in Nursing Home Abuse Case
October 8th, 2010
Being friends on the popular social networking site Facebook may cause more trouble for two Minnesota teens charged with nursing home abuse.
The teens were charged two years ago with sexually abusing and spitting on disabled residents at the Good Samaritan Society in Albert Lea, Minnesota.
The two were court ordered to not have any contact with each other but have since been friends on Facebook. Although it hasn’t been determined if the two have had direct contact, Police detectives are investigating the matter to determine if being able to view each other’s posts will interfere with the case.
In January, when one of the teens posted a $6,000 bond, one of the conditions was “no contact with co-defendants.”
“They can’t be in contact,” Freeborn County Attorney Craig Nelson said. “They can’t be in communication. [Being friends on Facebook] becomes a real issue the criminal justice system and the court system has to look at.”
Another Nursing Home Abuse Lawsuit Filed in Albert Lea, Minn. Case
October 13th, 2010
Another lawsuit has been filed against the Evangelical Lutheran Good Samaritan Society in the Albert Lea, Minnesota nursing home abuse case.
The family of Sylvia Wulff, now deceased, filed the lawsuit in U.S. District Court of South Dakota, the headquarters of the nursing home chain.
The family of Wulff was part of the civil case in Freeborn County against the nursing home and the accused abusers. But in Minnesota when victims die, liability goes away. However, the family is still entitled to sue the South Dakota based nursing home chain.
The lawsuit is based on the alleged negligence of the Good Samaritan Society, accused of not properly supervising the teenage certified nursing assistants who allegedly sexually, physically, and emotionally abused residents for 6 months in 2008.
The lawsuit states, “the Evangelical Lutheran Good Samaritan Society’s systemic failure to exercise proper supervision and control over the conduct of its teenage employees resulted in the six-month pattern of abuse of the vulnerable adults at Good Samaritan Society.”
The Good Samaritan Society claims that is was unaware of the abuse; and points out that the investigation by the Minnesota Department of Health said the nursing home responded swiftly when it learned of the allegations.
Nursing Home Abuse by Overdose May Have Caused Death of Resident
December 3, 2011
An elderly resident at Owatonna Care Center in Owatonna, Minnesota recently died after being given an overdose of his anxiety medication.
A state investigation revealed that the man died after the nursing home neglected to give him his medication for 10 days, at which point they gave the man 10 times the prescribed amount of the drug. The following day he was found deceased in his bed.
The official cause of death has been labeled chronic lung disease but a doctor involved in the investigation said that an overdose of the anxiety medication could have contributed to the man’s death.
Family of the deceased say they were not told by the nursing home that an overdose occurred, adding that they would have had an autopsy done if they had knowledge of the overdose.
The nursing home maintains that they did inform the family of the medication errors but “can’t speak to what they understood.”
In cases of suspected nursing home abuse it is advised that family of the abused contact a nursing home abuse lawyer who can help you take legal action if necessary.