New York Woman Catches Elder Abuse on Hidden Camera

Shay Morrigan | February 25th, 2013

New York nursing home abuse lawyerAccording to the National Center on Elder Abuse, there were over 20,000 complaints of abuse, gross neglect, and exploitation on behalf of nursing home and “board and care” residents in 2003. Nursing home neglect may take many forms, including physical, emotional, sexual, and financial abuse.

When New York resident Diana Valentin suspected her 89-year-old grandmother was being abused at the Gold Crest Care Center in the Bronx, she complained about it several times, but continued to get the run-around. As reported in the New York Daily News (February 19, 2013), she decided to take matters into her own hands, and set up a small hidden camera in a potted plant to document her grandmother’s treatment. Sandra Kerr, a nurse at the care center, has since been arrested and charged with endangering the welfare of a physically disabled person.

All 50 states have passed some form of elder abuse prevention laws, but each year thousands of individuals are still victimized. A New York nursing home abuse lawyer understands the requirements of the law, and even in cases without video evidence, can help recover damages in court.

Technology captures nursing home neglect

Valentin reported that footage obtained by the hidden camera showed the nurse “twisting” her grandmother’s arm and “slamming” her into her bed. Though the care center told Valentin that the strange bruises on her grandmother’s hands were caused when she banged her hands on the bed railing, Valentin was suspicious, and installed the surveillance device.

Valentin isn’t the first to use technology to prove her case. In July 2011, a New York nursing home abuse lawyer reported on the case of Steve Piskor, who suspected his 78-year-old mother was also being abused. He installed the camera inside a fan to prove it, and the videos showed two nurses hitting his mother in the face, shoving her into a wall, and violently throwing her into her bed. The videos led to both criminal and regulatory investigations.

New York medical malpractice lawyers urge other residents to speak up about elder abuse. Piskor was labeled a troublemaker at his mother’s nursing home, yet there was no one else to stand up for his mother—and it turned out his suspicions were correct.

New York nursing home abuse lawyer can help gather evidence

What if you don’t have access to the technology that would allow you to document such elder mistreatment? A New York nursing home abuse lawyer can still help you put together a strong case.

Documents that help support a nursing home abuse lawsuit in New York may include:

  • Incident/accident reports: nursing homes are required to record and investigate every allegation of mistreatment.
  • Survey reports: these are provided by federal agencies that conduct surveys of nursing homes and can reveal a pattern of problems.
  • Federal or state documents: to show a history of deficiency warnings, violations, or fines.
  • Resident medical records: reveal the nurses’ entries at periodic intervals.
  • Logbooks: for recording patient information from one shift to another.
  • Nursing home advertisements: these may include brochures, television and radio advertisements, and other descriptions of services given to customers.
  • Employees’ personnel file: if a family suspects a particular employee of abuse, the personnel file may include performance reviews and records of disciplinary actions.
  • Hiring records: could reveal if the nursing home complied with requirements that it verify an employee’s references, training, and certifications, as well as employment history.
  • Work schedules: to help establish whether a nursing home had sufficient staff on hand, and if staff members were overworked and fatigued.

In addition to these types of documents, a lawyer may use witness testimony, expert medical testimony, licensing requirements, and more to establish proof that the nursing home failed to live up to its obligations.

Nursing home abuse lawsuit New York

If you suspect that someone you care for has been neglected or abused in a nursing home or senior medical care facility, you may benefit from a consultation with a New York nursing home abuse lawyer. Your family members and loved ones do not have to accept treatment that fails to meet today’s standards of care. A New York City jury awarded nearly $19 million in 2009 to the family of a 76-year old nursing home patient that developed 20 bedsores due to nursing home neglect.

To determine your eligibility for a nursing home abuse lawsuit in New York, call The Sanders Firm today. We’ll be happy to give you a free initial consultation that can help you determine your next step. Call us toll-free at 1-800-FAIR-PLAY.

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