Two more individuals have been charged in the death of a man who was living in and being cared for by a nursing home in the Northeast. The 72-year-old man died in 2012, and so far, nine people face nursing home neglect charges surrounding his death. They were arraigned on a recent Thursday at a hearing where all of them pleaded not guilty to the charges. This case did not occur in Tennessee, but countless cases of nursing home neglect occur in this state every day.
According to prosecutors, the nursing home staff members ignored an alarm that was warning them that the patient was in danger. The alarm rang every 15 seconds during a period of over two hours until the man tragically died. During the investigation of the death, staff members allegedly lied to investigators by telling them that the alarm was not ringing, when evidence shows that it was. Also, other staff members allegedly told investigators that they had seen the man alive at times when investigators claim he had already died.
Authorities issued statements saying that the staff members’ failures constitute criminal negligence that the state of New York will not tolerate in its nursing homes. Authorities want the arrests and indictments to send a message to nursing homes, letting them know that people who negligently endanger older citizens will be arrested and prosecuted. Still, an attorney representing one of the accused in this case maintains that his client is innocent and that the death was accidental.
The unfortunate death of the man in this case is tragic, especially considering the fact that alarms were allegedly ringing to notify staff that he was in danger. Tennessee residents who have relatives in nursing homes may want to diligently check for any signs of nursing home neglect. Those who believe their relative has been victimized and injured by neglect may want to hold those responsible liable for their loved one’s injuries. A claim for restitution in such a case could help victims pay for medical care if navigated to successful conclusion.
Source: NBC New York, “Nine Arraigned in Death of 72-Year-Old Nursing Home Resident“, , May 31, 2014