After allegations of abuse at a Schaghticoke nursing home, investigators decided to seek more evidence. For six weeks in March and April 2009, they set up hidden-cameras in the room of a 53-year-old patient. Investigators obtained hundreds of hours of video during the six-week period of surveillance. What they filmed has led to criminal charges.
In March 2010, authorities arrested 14 nurses and staff members. While some of the individuals pleaded guilty, criminal charges are still pending against nine individuals named in a 175-count indictment. The counts include charges of falsifying business records, a felony offense, and misdemeanor counts of endangering the welfare of an incompetent or physically disabled person and willful violation of health laws.
Staff members are accused of failing to administer medication, not treating the victim's bed sores, failing to check the victim for incontinence and failing to change the victim's undergarments. The falsification of business records charge stems from staff members allegedly changing paperwork to make it appear that care had been given to the victim.
In the time since charges have been filed, the judge in charge of the trial has ordered that the tapes not be released to the media in order to protect the victim's identity and dignity. The nine defendants in this case have all pleaded not guilty. They are presently free on their own recognizance and a trial date has been set for January.
Regardless of the outcome of the criminal prosecution, the staff and nursing home may be facing civil liability for nursing home neglect and abuse. When a nursing home and its staff treats a resident poorly and the victim experiences bed sores, neglect, physical abuse, sexual abuse or physical injuries, the victim and the victim's family have the option of filing a civil lawsuit to seek compensation for the abuse. If your loved one has been subjected to nursing home neglect, an experienced nursing home abuse attorney can help inform you of your legal rights.
Albany Times Union, "Lawyer: No abuse seen," Bob Gardinier, 12/3/2010
Albany Times Union, "Judge: Don't release Northwoods tapes," Bob Gardinier, 10/15/2010