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Nursing Home Aide Charged with Manslaughter

Nursing home abuse lawyers at Pintas & Mullins report that a nurse’s aide in Tarrytown, New York was recently charged with manslaughter after an elderly woman in her care died. The woman was a resident at Tarrytown Hall Care Center when she died in early 2012.

The aide, Maureen Flowers, is also accused of blatantly lying about the accident in attempt to cover up what really happened. The 86-year-old resident, Sinia Malone, was allegedly dropped by Flowers while she was trying to lift her from a wheelchair.

Facility procedure requires at least two people to use a mechanical lift to pick up residents who are unable to walk. The elderly woman suffered a fractured spine and leg and a broken nose in the accident. Knowing full-well the established policy required two people, Flowers immediately – before seeking medical help for Malone – asked another aide to claim she was present and assisting when the fall occurred. Malone died two hours after the fall, in a nearby hospital. The other aide is also facing charges, including falsifying business records.

Local authorities first charged Flowers with endangering a vulnerable adult or disabled person and for knowingly attempting to cover up what happened. The state attorney general affirmed that Flowers’ lack of care was intolerable, and more than warranted her arrest and consequent felony charges. Flowers faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted.

ABC 7 reports that Malone’s family was immediately suspicious when they were initially told the woman simply fell from her bed. The family now hopes their tragedy will lead to stricter oversight.

In related news, two people were recently arrested in Arizona after a woman was injured at an assisted living facility near Tucson. The 93-year-old woman was a resident at Asterion Acres Home in Pima County at the time of the incident.

According to the local sheriff’s department, two certified caregivers at the facility repeatedly struck the elderly woman with open hands and fists. The employees, at separate times, would also hit her with remote controls and other inanimate objects and violently throw her onto her bed and into her wheelchair.

Detectives observed injuries on the patients and immediately arranged for her to be taken to a nearby hospital. Officials state the two employees have been taken off the schedule and are no longer working at Asterion Acres Home.

Investigators worked with state authorities to interview the suspects as well as evaluate all remaining residents. The employees, Annuhar Jesus Ruiz and Elisa Moreno, were both booked into Pima County Adult Detention Center and charged with four counts of abuse of a vulnerable, elderly adult.

Similar charges have been brought against three former certified nursing assistants (CNAs) in Johnson City, Tennessee. The CNAs are accused of spraying residents of the Appalachian Christian Village nursing home with water. Additional employees are charged for failing to report the abuse. All are pleading guilty to two counts of willful abuse, neglect or exploitation of a vulnerable adult and face up to two years in prison.

Allegations also include the CNAs taking pictures and videos of resdients’ bare breasts and buttocks and showing them to other people. The abuse will cost Appalachian Christian Village about $3,000 as well as a suspension of new admissions.

Elder abuse and neglect lawyers at Pintas & Mullins encourage anyone with information regarding abuse of nursing home residents to report it right away. The fastest and most effective way to obtain justice for any abuse suffered is through a lawsuit against the perpetrators and nursing home, and it is critical you contact a skilled attorney as soon as possible.