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Nursing Home Abuse in North Carolina

Ratings Questioned in North Carolina After Nursing Home Abuse Reports

November 20th, 2012

Although the official release reports aren’t due out until July, local news companies are questioning North Carolina’s ratings among nursing homes after several complaints of nursing home abuse .

In an investigation performed by ABC News of Raleigh, several nursing homes in North Carolina’s largest counties have been found to be providing substandard services to its residents, including filthy living conditions and poor care that puts residents at risk for severe infections, including death.

Jane Maves, the daughter of a resident of a local nursing home, stated that the quality of care was so poor at Sunnybrook Nursing Home, that her mother died while under staff care:

“It just broke my heart. It was just so sad to see her not getting the care she needed, the care she deserved.”

Ironically, Maves took extra care to ensure that her mother was sent to one of the leading nursing homes in the state. According to Medicare, Sunnybrook received a rating of 4 out of 5 during its last report; making it one of the top-rated nursing homes in North Carolina. However, investigations show that Sunnybrook has been fined over $200,000 by the state in the past for nursing home abuse and neglect. Yet, in a 77-page investigation report, the only evidence Medicare provided was a few general complaints that were pushed under the rug. In defense, Medicare stated that the official results of nursing home abuse would not be available until July of next year. This, however, doesn’t lessen the pain of loved ones and victims who have experienced abuse and neglect at the hands of nursing homes.

Additionally, investigators looked into the highest-rated nursing homes in North Carolina, and found that most of the ratings are not up to par with the services provided. Typical violations found at the nursing homes were cold temperatures, neglect, failure to report abuse, and failure to report neglect. In fact, many residents suffered from hypothermia when left in nursing homes with an average temperature of 45 degrees.

Loved ones like Maves, however, have options. In the state of North Carolina, as with most other states, a nursing home abuse lawyer can help victims and loved ones file for damages. Although the abuse has been done, a lawsuit will help loved ones recover medical bills, pain, suffering and loss, as well as expose nursing homes that continue to abuse residents.


Possible North Carolina Nursing Home Abuse Caught on Video

June 2, 2011

Neighbors of the Edwards Group Home in Hookerton, North Carolina say they may have caught on video the abuse of a mentally ill resident at the nursing home. The video shows shows a fight outside the facility between someone who appear to be a staff member and a resident.

The couple who filmed the fight says they heard a scream from inside the nursing home and saw the fight and decided to use their cellphone to record the possible abuse. The fenced in area where the conflict occurred has since been covered with a dark material to block anyone from seeing inside.

The video has led to a state investigation of Edwards Group Home. The nursing home was also investigated in April after a resident at the home caught a shrub on fire outside the facility.

If you believe that you or a loved one has been a victim of nursing home abuse or neglect we urge you to contact a nursing home abuse lawyer immediately to discuss the situation and what possible legal action you should take.


Nursing Home Abuse and Elder Exploitation on the Rise in North Carolina

May 24, 2011

North Carolina’s Buncombe County reports that cases of elder abuse are on the rise. About 700 adult protective service reports have already been filed this year, and reports of the elderly being abused have more than doubled in the past six years.

Buncombe County saw 797 adult protective service reports filed last year, whereas there were only 318 cases in 2005.

Social workers say that given the bad economy financial exploitation of the elderly is particularly on the rise, with a 164 percent increase.

Roxann Sizemore, of Buncombe County’s Adult Protective Services, said the public is also more aware of the problem of elder and nursing home abuse which, in combination with the increasing elderly population, has led to an increase in the number of reports of elder abuse.

As this report shows us, abuse and exploitation of our nation’s elderly population is not uncommon. If you or a loved one has been a victim of abuse in a nursing home we urge you to contact a nursing home abuse lawyer who can help you explore your legal options.


North Carolina Nurse Pleads Not Guilty In Nursing Home Abuse Death

February 9, 2011

A nurse at Britthaven nursing home in North Carolina pleaded not guilty to charges of second-degree murder. The woman is accused of giving a resident at the nursing home an overdose of morphine which caused the patient’s death.

The woman is also indicted on six counts of patient abuse for giving Alzheimer’s patients morphine which had not been prescribed to them and caused them serious harm. She is accused of giving them the medication to sedate them.

During the nursing home abuse investigation a morphine bottle was found at the nursing home filled with a substance other than morphine. Witnesses said they saw the accused nurse handing out to patients little cups containing what she said was vitamins.

In cases where a loved one has died because of suspected nursing home abuse or neglect it is vital that family of the deceased contact a nursing home abuse lawyer to help stop the abuse or neglect from happening again in the future.


North Carolina Man Pleads Guilty to Sexual Nursing Home Abuse

June 5, 2013

A Lenoir, North Carolina man plead guilty last month to a January 2013 nursing home abuse incident in which he was accused of sexually assaulting an elderly female.

According to reports, Charles Michael Horton, 61, was found on top of a patient, sexually assaulting her, while she lied in bed at the Glenbridge Health and Rehabilitation Center in Boone, on January 10. The victim had Alzheimers and several other cognitive-disorders that made her unable to move alone and speak for herself. She died only a month after the assault.

Staff members found Horton attacking the victim, and called the police immediately. They were unable to detain Horton until the police arrived, but he later turned himself in. Originally, Horton was only charged with a misdemeanor sexual battery charge. Yet, after interviewing him, he was charged with two counts of sexual assault and one count of rape.

In court on May 22, Horton plead guilty to a second-degree sexual offense charge after negotiating a plea that allowed the rape and an additional charge to be dropped. He was sentenced to 12-15 years in prison, minus 120 of time already served in jail. He still has another pending court date for a sexual battery charge and is expected back in court in July.

Keep in mind that if you or a loved one have been victim to nursing home abuse, an experienced nursing home abuse lawyer will be able to assist you. Nursing home abuse attorneys have helped numerous victims go on to win their cases, and would be happy to provide you with a free consultation.


North Carolina Nursing Home Accused for Abuse and Neglect

February 14, 2014

When Kimberly Wyatt made the decision to put her mother in a nursing home after she suffered a stroke she believed that her mother would receive the best possible care and compassion for the round the clock care that she needed. 3 years on and now Ms Wyatt regrets leaving her 65-year old mother Jo Ann Howard in the Brian Center in Hendersonville. What she was subjected to was neglect of the worst kind after being left abandoned and more often than not, unable to reach her call button. Howard died in her bed at the Brian Center Hendersonville.

Now more local families are coming forward to speak out about the terrible conditions in Brian Centers around the state. Together they document the neglect and abuse that is rife within the centers. Poor hygiene standards have come top of the list of issues that the Department of Health and Human Services found when they visited the Hendersonville center twice last year. Additionally, however, poor resident care was another problem and one that led a certified nurse working at the facility to quit her job. The Brian Centers have a dangerously high staff turnover with generally low staff levels.

The Brian Centers are headquartered in Atlanta and is owned by parent company Sava Senior Care who own 32 nursing homes and rehab centers in North Carolina, plus others all around the United States, totaling over a hundred.

When a loved one enters a nursing home, the expectation is that the staff who are employed have been trained and are adequately able to provide the care that each resident needs. More often stories are emerging that prove the opposite. Poor or limited training, weak communication, and low staff numbers can all attribute to the degeneration of nursing home standards across the United States. Nursing Home Abuse Center is a comprehensive and informative site created by the highly respected lawyers at McIver Brown Nursing Home Abuse. The first step against nursing home abuse is spotting the signs to ensure that you are alert to any form of abuse or neglect that you believe is happening. If you believe that you have a case against a person or organization then do not delay in checking Nursing Home Abuse Center for more information about what to do.


$20,000 Fine Recommendation for Nursing Home Abuse and Death of Resident

August 16th, 2010

$20,000 Fine Recommendation for Nursing Home Abuse and Death of Resident

North Carolina state regulators have recommended $20,000 in fines be issued to Britthaven, a Chapel Hill nursing home, after a former nurse is charged with 2nd degree murder and patient abuse.

The former nurse is charged with the murder of 84-year-old resident Rachel Holliday, as well injuring six other residents through the use of morphine. None of the residents had been prescribed morphine.

A medical examination revealed that Holliday’s death was due to pneumonia from asphyxiation and that the high levels of morphine in her body likely contributed to her death.

The fines against the nursing home have been proposed by the state Department of Health and Human Services to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

An investigation by the department’s Nursing Home Licensure and Certification Section found “the most serious deficiency to be one that comprises a pattern that constitutes immediate jeopardy to resident health or safety” and will require significant corrections. Investigations took place in February, June, and July according to Britthaven’s administrator.

Britthaven is also the target of civil malpractice suits because of nursing home abuse involving serious injuries to two other patients.


Light Sentence for Nursing Home Abuse Death

June 4, 2012

A former nurse at Britthaven nursing home in Chapel Hill, North Carolina who pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter will get 5 months in prison after she unnecessarily gave patients morphine which led to the overdose and death of one patient.

At least nine patients were given morphine by the nurse to make them more manageable. The woman also plead guilty to six counts of felony patient abuse and will be on probation for two and a half years.

An autopsy was not performed on the elderly patient that died but “morphine toxicity” was listed as contributing to her death.

The former nurse, who told residents she was giving them “liquid vitamins”, is no longer allowed to work in the health care industry.

The question in a nursing home abuse case like this is: Why such a light sentence for a nurse that directly contributed to the death of a nursing home resident and endangered many others?

We’ve all heard about cases such as this where it appears the legal system has failed to bring about justice. Contacting a nursing home abuse lawyer after nursing home abuse is an additional step families should take to help ensure justice.