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Nursing home aid pleads guilty to sexually abusing patient

Nursing home aid pleads guilty to sexually abusing patient

By Kosieradzki Smith Law Firm

October 23, 2014

A former nursing home worker in Missouri pleaded guilty earlier this week to abusing elder nursing home patients he was supposed to be protecting.

Walter Javier Martinez, of Ballwin, Missouri, was sentenced to one year in county jail, according to KSDK.com. Martinez is banned from having any employment with the elderly as part of the plea.

The inappropriate incidents took place at a nursing home in Ellisville, Missouri. Martinez was originally charged with deviate sexual assault, forcible rape and sodomy, KSDK.com reported.

The guilty plea continues a disturbing national trend of caretakers abusing their power.

Click here to read more about this story.

The Kosieradzki • Smith Law Firm represents clients in cases involving catastrophic injury caused by nursing homes and other care facilities that fail to provide proper care. If you believe your loved one has been harmed due neglect or abuse in a nursing home, take action and contact the Kosieradzki • Smith Law Firm online or call us toll-free at (877) 552-2873 to set up a no-cost, no-obligation consultation.

TOPICS:   Sexual Abuse

Nursing home faces sanctions after maggots found in resident’s bandaged wound

By Kosieradzki Smith Law Firm

October 23, 2014

A Maine nursing home’s failure to install proper windows and screens led to an infestation of flies which led to maggots being found living in a resident’s wounds, according to WGME 13 News.

Now federal sanctions have comedown against the nursing home, Eastside Center for Health and Rehabilitation, on Mt. Hope Avenue in Bangor, Maine, according to the Maine Department of Health and Human Services.

The Bangor Daily News reports that flies were allowed to fester in the building because the nursing home “failed to ensure the environment was free from hazards associated with windows with broken and missing screens,” according to the DHHS.

The resident victim suffered burning and itching in her chest area, where a wound was supposed to be healing. But “when the bandage was removed, the staff observed that the resident had maggot larvae coming out of the resident’s chest open area,” the DHHS said.

The state has suggested a $500 fine for every day the home was out of compliance and putting its residents at risk of infection, according to WGME 13. The facility was also cited back in 2001 for a myriad of issues including abuse, neglect and care deficiencies, according to WGME 13.

Click here to read more about this story.

The Kosieradzki • Smith Law Firm represents clients in cases involving catastrophic injury caused by nursing homes and other care facilities that fail to provide proper care. If you believe your loved one has been harmed due neglect or abuse in a nursing home, take action and contact the Kosieradzki • Smith Law Firm online or call us toll-free at (877) 552-2873 to set up a no-cost, no-obligation consultation.

Michigan to get nearly $3.5M in U.S. settlement with Extendicare nursing home chain

By Kosieradzki Smith Law Firm

October 22, 2014

The federal government accused Extendicare Health Services, the chain that operates 440 long-term nursing homes across the country and recently agreed to pay a $38 million in a Medicare and Medicaid fraud lawsuit, of “failing to provide appropriate care, follow safety protocols or maintain enough skilled nurses,” according to Crain’s Detroit Business News.

More details of the company’s misconduct were also revealed after the settlement. Crain’s reports that these include “head injuries to residents, falls, bed sores and fractures and cases of malnutrition, dehydration and infection,” and span across 33 facilities in eight states.

Included in those eight states were Minnesota and Wisconsin.

The company must pay close to $32 million to the federal government as settlement of the lawsuit, which mainly accused Extendicare of chronically overbilling Medicare and Medicaid for goods and services. Now accusations of darker infractions are coming to light.

“Protecting this nation’s vulnerable populations, including our seniors, has been and continues to be one of this department’s highest priorities,” acting Associate Attorney General Stuart Delery said, according to the Associated Press.

Whistleblowers filed complaints against the company in 2010 and in 2013. The government’s accusations of mistreatment and dangerous conditions cover a six year range from 2007 to 2013.

Click here to read more about this story.

The Kosieradzki • Smith Law Firm represents clients in cases involving catastrophic injury caused by nursing homes and other care facilities, including Extendicare nursing homes, that fail to provide proper care. If you believe your loved one has been harmed due neglect or abuse in a nursing home, take action and contact the Kosieradzki • Smith Law Firm online or call us toll-free at (877) 552-2873 to set up a no-cost, no-obligation consultation.

TOPICS:   Extendicare, News

Nursing home consultant indicted

By Kosieradzki Smith Law Firm

October 22, 2014

Albany County (New York) continues to employ a high-ranking nursing home consultant who is facing misdemeanor charges of misconduct in light of violations of the heath care system’s procurement policy, according to the Albany Times Union.

Each sentence carries up to a year in jail, the Times Union reported. Larry Slatky allegedly violated the policy by steering contracts to a company run by a friend. Slatky is paid up to $27,000 per month by Albany County, the Times Union reported.

“The rules for awarding public contracts are designed to ensure fairness for bidders and to protect taxpayers,” Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice said in a statement “My office will continue to investigate and hold accountable anyone who violates this trust and these rules that exist to protect the public.”

Slatky has worked as a consultant for Albany County since the end of last year, according to the Times Union. The county told the paper it wasn’t surprised by the indictments and that Slatky’s job is safe, despite the charges.

He is accused of playing favorites while mediating a laundry service bid in 2010 on Long Island. Slatky bypassed some bidding companies entirely before awarding it to a company run by a friend, according to the Times Union.

Click here to read more about this story.

The Kosieradzki • Smith Law Firm represents clients in cases involving catastrophic injury caused by nursing homes and other care facilities that fail to provide proper care. If you believe your loved one has been harmed due neglect or abuse in a nursing home, take action and contact the Kosieradzki • Smith Law Firm online or call us toll-free at (877) 552-2873 to set up a no-cost, no-obligation consultation.

TOPICS:   News

Too many nursing homes still don’t meet fire-safety rules despite deadline

By Kosieradzki Smith Law Firm

October 12, 2014

June Liccione monitored her mother’s health for years as her mother spent the last part of her life in and out of nursing homes. Liccione always had her mother’s health on her mind. Was she being properly treated? Properly fed? Properly cared for?

“There were so many other things to worry about,” Liccione told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. “I didn’t worry about a fire.”

But a recent survey illustrates just how susceptible nursing home residents are to the usually forgotten threat of a fire. The government recently released a damming report that accuses hundreds of nursing home facilities around the country of failing to comply with adequate sprinkler system requirements. Fires devastated two nursing homes in 2003 killing a combined 31 people, according to the Star-Tribune.

“That’s really quite shocking,” David Randolph Smith, an attorney who represented the families of the victims of one of the blazes, told the Star-Tribune. “Lots of things catch on fire in these buildings. Some of them are so old that they have polyurethane insolation. They’re tinder boxes in many cases.”

Many incoming residents never give these threats any thought, reported the Star-Tribune.

In an attempt to eliminate this doubt, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said it will deny payment and terminate provider agreements with facilities that fail to comply. All nursing home facilities were required to comply by last year.

Thirty-six of the noncomplying facilities are run by local and state governments, the Star-Tribune reported.

Click here to read more about this story.

The Kosieradzki • Smith Law Firm represents clients in cases involving catastrophic injury caused by nursing homes and other care facilities that fail to provide proper care. If you believe your loved one has been harmed due neglect or abuse in a nursing home, take action and contact the Kosieradzki • Smith Law Firm online or call us toll-free at (877) 552-2873 to set up a no-cost, no-obligation consultation.

TOPICS:   Neglect, News

Year after federal deadline, hundreds of nursing homes still don’t meet fire-safety rules

By Kosieradzki Smith Law Firm

October 12, 2014

Almost 400 nursing homes across the country failed to meet a Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services deadline requiring the implementation of adequate sprinkler systems. This after an industry history of deadly fires. In total, up to 52,000 people could be at risk, according to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.

“This is intolerable in this day and age,” Ben Lee, executive director of advocacy group Families for Better Care, told the Star-Tribune. “It’s not like they don’t have money to put these systems in. They have the money. They just choose not to do so.”

The Star-Tribune reported that 44 of the homes don’t have any sprinklers at all. The others feature systems that don’t meet safety regulations.

Fire prevention tools and structures are particularly important in nursing home facilities, where residents are often unable to hastily evacuate.

Thirty-one people were killed in nursing home fires in 2003, the year sprinkler systems were made required in newly built facilities. Sixteen people were killed in a fire at Greenwood Health Center in Hartford, Connecticut, and 15 were killed at a nursing home in Nashville, Tennessee. Neither facility had automatic sprinkler systems at the time, reported the Star-Tribune.

The CMS required older buildings to install automatic sprinkler systems in 2008, giving the facilities until 2013 to do so, the Star-Tribune reported.

More than a year past the deadline, hundreds of facilities still fail to comply to the rule, putting thousands of lives in jeopardy.

Click here to read more about this story.

The Kosieradzki • Smith Law Firm represents clients in cases involving catastrophic injury caused by nursing homes and other care facilities that fail to provide proper care. If you believe your loved one has been harmed due neglect or abuse in a nursing home, take action and contact the Kosieradzki • Smith Law Firm online or call us toll-free at (877) 552-2873 to set up a no-cost, no-obligation consultation.

TOPICS:   Burns, News

Woman claims nursing home caretaker assaulted her

By Kosieradzki Smith Law Firm

October 11, 2014

A handicapped woman says she was sexually assaulted by someone who was supposed to be her caretaker at a nursing home in Albuquerque, New Mexico, according to KOAT 7 ABC News.

Sex crimes detectives are investigating the incident, which happened earlier this month at Princeton Place Rehab and Nursing Home in northeaster Albuquerque.

The alleged victim cannot walk or move her legs well, according to ABC. The identity of her and her family was hidden for privacy purposes.

She called her family after the incident distraught and shaken. ABC described the her as “in a panic” after the incident.

Members of the woman’s family told ABC that they don’t feel safe leaving her in the nursing home anymore. The family wants the alleged assailant brought to justice.

Click here to watch this story.

The Kosieradzki • Smith Law Firm represents clients in cases involving catastrophic injury caused by nursing homes and other care facilities that fail to provide proper care. If you believe your loved one has been harmed due neglect or abuse in a nursing home, take action and contact the Kosieradzki • Smith Law Firm online or call us toll-free at (877) 552-2873 to set up a no-cost, no-obligation consultation.

TOPICS:   Sexual Abuse

Medical superbugs: Antibiotic-resistant bacteria carried by more than a third of nursing home residents, study

By Kosieradzki Smith Law Firm

October 11, 2014

Over-administering and overuse of antibiotics in nursing homes has led to the presence of superbugs, or antibiotic-resistant bacteria, in more than one third of nursing home residents in Australia, according to an ABC News report.

A study out of Monash University found that more than half of the infected patients had recently received antibiotics, proving the bugs impervious to the drugs and opening the possibility that they could be actually spawned from them.

The study warns that the increasing rate of antibiotic overuse could make the superbugs more widespread, according to ABC News.

“They aren’t the safety net that we think they are,” Monash professor Anton Peleg told the news. “They do have consequences and the consequences of overuse, or inappropriate use, is the development of these antibiotic resistant bacteria.”

Peleg warned that understaffing issues and service inadequacy problems lead to the increased dependence on antibiotics. Bacteria can live and foster in carpets, beds and other living conditions in nursing homes, where they are much more difficult to control. The preventive measures taken at hospitals are not practical in nursing homes, leaving patients highly susceptible.

“Our concern is that nursing homes are acting as a sort of reservoir, if you like, of antibiotic resistant bacteria,” he said.

Click here to read more about this story.

The Kosieradzki • Smith Law Firm represents clients in cases involving catastrophic injury caused by nursing homes and other care facilities that fail to provide proper care. If you believe your loved one has been harmed due neglect or abuse in a nursing home, take action and contact the Kosieradzki • Smith Law Firm online or call us toll-free at (877) 552-2873 to set up a no-cost, no-obligation consultation.

Disabled retiree disgruntled with nursing home care

By Kosieradzki Smith Law Firm

October 11, 2014

A nursing home patient paralyzed from the waist down complains of mistreatment and neglect in an Iowa nursing home, saying workers don’t follow techniques and ignore his calls for help.

Hershel Smith was paralyzed in an automobile accident in 2008 and has lived in nursing homes ever since, the Des Moines Register reports.

But he is not satisfied with his new residence.

He’s not alone.

Iowa received an “F” rating in an annual nursing home review conducted by nonprofit Families for Better Care, according to the Register. This year Iowa dropped in the national rankings as well. The Register reported that Families for Better Care ranked Iowa nursing homes 46th in the nation.

The Register reports that Iowa has eight long-term care ombudsmen, who are required to hear complaints and resolve issues of more than 54,000 nursing home patients living in the state. We will repeat that again.

That’s eight ombudsmen for 54,000 patients. “I’ve run out of advocates,” he told the Register.

Nursing homes themselves are also commonly understaffed, reports the Register.

The state has been ravaged by nursing home injuries, deaths and sexual assaults in recent years.

From the Des Moines Register story: dangerous conditions have become more prevalent, residents have a harder time getting help from caregivers and an overwhelming percentage of registered complaints are verified by the state’s overworked ombudsmen.

Smith said he feels desperate when his wife can’t be at the home to take care of him, and he is left with the home staff. At one point, he ditched the home for a motel.

The Kosieradzki • Smith Law Firm represents clients in cases involving catastrophic injury caused by nursing homes and other care facilities that fail to provide proper care. If you believe your loved one has been harmed due neglect or abuse in a nursing home, take action and contact the Kosieradzki • Smith Law Firm online or call us toll-free at (877) 552-2873 to set up a no-cost, no-obligation consultation.

 

TOPICS:   Neglect, News

Extendicare Announces $38M Settlement With U.S. Government

By Kosieradzki Smith Law Firm

October 8, 2014

Extendicare Health Services, Inc. does not expect the lump-sum $38 million settlement it agreed to pay the government to affect them, according to a press release detailing the agreement.

The settlement finalizes investigations and claims brought up by the Department of Justice and Office of the Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that date all the way back to 2010.

Extendicare is now subject to a period of compliance during which it will be monitored by the Office of the Inspector General for five years, according to the press release. The Office of the Inspector General will monitor Extendicare for compliance in implementing and maintaining heath care program requirements in skilled nursing home facilities.

But “Extendicare does not expect the settlement to have a material adverse effect on the Company’s business or long-term consolidated financial position,” according to the press release, despite the obvious funding lost that could have gone to improving services.

Extendicare operates 440 long-term care facilities across North America, including eight nursing homes in Minnesota. Extendicare Health Services Inc. is the corporation’s “wholly owned U.S. subsidiary,” according to the press release.

Click here to read the entire press release.

The Kosieradzki • Smith Law Firm represents clients in cases involving catastrophic injury caused by nursing homes and other care facilities, including Extendicare nursing homes, that fail to provide proper care. If you believe your loved one has been harmed due neglect or abuse in a nursing home, take action and contact the Kosieradzki • Smith Law Firm online or call us toll-free at (877) 552-2873 to set up a no-cost, no-obligation consultation.

 

TOPICS:   Extendicare