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Illinois Attorney General proposes allowing cameras in nursing homes

Illinois Attorney General proposes allowing cameras in nursing homes

By Kosieradzki Smith Law Firm

September 19, 2014

Illinois’ Attorney General has announced that she will push for legislation that permits video- and audio-recording devices in nursing home rooms to monitor patient treatment. AG Lisa Madigan calls it the “next line of defense” for vulnerable residents of nursing homes.  Madigan told news media that her office has received multiple complaints in recent months from nursing home residents and families concerned about safety and security.

Recordings or tapes would be admissible as evidence in court and tampering or obstructing a recording would result in criminal charges, Madigan said, according to a report in the McDonough County Voice.

According to the County Voice report, “Madigan’s push follows several unsuccessful efforts to enact similar legislation in Illinois, with the nursing home industry lobbying forcefully against the bills.”

News sources report that Illinois would become the sixth state to allow electronic monitoring in nursing home patient rooms if the proposal becomes law. Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Maryland and Washington state all have similar laws on the books.

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.

Mark Kosieradzki teaches full-day 30(b)(6) Program in Oklahoma

By Kosieradzki Smith Law Firm

September 19, 2014

Mark Kosieradzki and fellow nationally recognized attorney, Phillip Miller, taught a full day advanced 30(b)(6)-deposition program: David Versus Goliath – 30(b)(6): Deposing the Corporate Representative Advanced Deposition Strategy and Practice. The program was hosted by the Oklahoma Association for Justice.

 

 

The program was held at the Hyatt Regency in Tulsa, OK, with 47 attendees from across the United States. The program was the second full-day program that Mark and Phillip have put on, and it is the only full-day program that is offered.

The program covered how the 30(b)(6) deposition strategy will help in just about any type of case that is handled. Topics included Discovery Planning, 30(b)(6): Depositions by Issue Designation, Duties of Requesting Party: Crafting the Notice, Deposition Technique, Duties of Designating Party and The Document Deposition: 30(b)(6), 30(b)(2) and Rule 34.

Mark is well known throughout the country for his knowledge of 30(b)(6) depositions. Most recently, the American Association for Justice released Mark’s DVD, Deposing the Corporate Representative: 30(b)(6) Depositions. The DVD can be purchased from American Association for Justice by contacting 202.965.3500, ext. 8615 of the AAJ Exchange.

Mark will be speaking at the American Association for Justice Medical Malpractice seminar in Santa Fe, NM at the end of September 2014.

Mark and the Kosieradzki • Smith Law Firm represent clients in cases involving catastrophic injury caused by wrongdoers, including nursing homes and other care facilities that fail to provide proper care. If you believe you or your loved one has been harmed by another’s wrongful conduct, 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:   Firm News, Firm News

Nursing home employee slapped, manhandled 80-year-old bedridden patient

By Kosieradzki Smith Law Firm

September 18, 2014

An 80-year-old patient at an Alabama nursing home was slapped and mistreated by a caregiver in August, police say, according to Al.com.

The former caregiver, Taneka Kiera Hopkins, is in jail after being charged with elder abuse in the second degree, Al.com reported. The patient was bedridden, suffering from Alzheimer’s and dementia, at the time of the incident, which occurred at the South Haven facility in Hoover, Alabama. The abuse occurred in mid August, police said.

“Her actions were appalling, awful and disturbing,” Hoover police Capt. Gregg Rector told Al.com, about Hopkins. Hopkins was fired from her position as a certified nursing assistant after being arrested, according to Al.com.

“You expect the elderly, more than anyone, to be treated with dignity and respect,” Rector told Al.com.

The patient was unable to speak or care for himself at the time of the abuse. His family contacted the police after they suspected he was being mishandled. The police found ample visual evidence to confirm the abuse and issue a warrant, Al.com reported.

Hopkins, who had previously been arrested in 2011 for a domestic violence charge, surrendered herself to authorities, according to Al.com.

Click here to read more about this case.

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:   Physical Abuse

DEA pursues Twin Cities pharmacy specializing in long-term care

By Kosieradzki Smith Law Firm

September 18, 2014

Minnesota pharmacy Geritom Medical, which specializes in long-term medical care, according to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. City police offers provided a uniform presence as the DEA searched Geritom Medical, located on Florida Avenue just north of Old Shakopee Road, according to the Star-Tribune.

The pharmacy called the raid a “business interruption” in a voicemail recording when the Star-Tribune called the offices to inquire about the situation. The company’s website says it served more than 8,000 customers across 1,000 facilities in Minnesota.

Authorities said the DEA raid occurred during normal business hours, according to the Star-Tribune. Click here to read more about the raid.

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, including medication abuse and errors. 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.

Report ranks Oklahoma among worst in nation for nursing home care

By Kosieradzki Smith Law Firm

September 18, 2014

Oklahoma nursing homes were ranked among the worst in the nation in a report by Families for Better Care, an advocacy group, according to News 9 in Oklahoma.

Oklahoma ranked 48th in the nation in nursing home care last year and 49th this year, after the group reported that a quarter of state nursing homes were cited for harming residents, according to News 9. Incidents such as caregivers shoving dirty gloves into their mouths and caregivers being convicted of abuse led to the negative ranking.

Louisiana and Texas ranked behind Oklahaoma as the states with the worst nursing home care in the country.

A bill supported by the advocacy group Perfect Cause died in the House during the last session. “It’s god-awful, it’s gut wrenching,” Wes Bledsoe, a member of A Perfect Cause, told News 9.  “In spite of all our efforts, we continue to fail and drop.” Rep. Joe Dorman told News 9, “We must do a better job at providing the proper resources and regulations make sure seniors are protected,”

Bledsoe said the group believes 3,500 Oklahomans are dying in nursing homes every year.

Former caregiver Anita Rich was sentenced to four years in prison last month after being convicted of abuse. Rich is just one of many Oklahoma nursing home worked cited for abuse.

To read more about Oklahoma’s subpar nursing home care, click here.

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.

Body of elderly man missing from nursing home found dead

By Kosieradzki Smith Law Firm

September 18, 2014

The body of a man last seen at an Ohio nursing home was found dead on September 12 in Cleveland Metroparks, Middleburg Heights Police confirmed to Fox 8 Cleveland.  Ronald Herhuth was last seen five days earlier at Southern Hills Health & Rehab nursing home, according to Fox 8. He was 71.

Herhuth had Alzheimer’s disease and was a diabetic.  He went missing from the nursing home with his wooden cane, a swollen leg, and an IV in his arm.  Over a hundred people were involved in looking for him after he went missing. He had only been at the nursing home for a few days before he eloped from the facility.

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.

Mahnomen Health Center employee repeatedly stole patients’ narcotic medication

By Kosieradzki Smith Law Firm

September 17, 2014

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) has completed its investigation of narcotic diversion concerns at the Mahnomen Health Center in Mahnomen, Minnesota.  A complaint was filed with the Department alleging that the nursing home’s staff diverted narcotic medications from residents. The staff member documented controlled substances given to nine residents on shifts when the staff member was not even working.

The Department investigated the matter and found that the staff member had diverted the narcotic medication (hydrocodone) that belonged to eight residents for the staff member’s personal use. Nursing home management knew that the staff member dispensed more hydrocodone to residents than any other staff.  The staff member tested positive for opiates and admitted to taking the hydrocodone from the residents, taking 30 tablets every week. [Case no. H5238012]

Medicare rates nursing homes, including this 48-bed nursing home facility.  Medicare has assigned an the Mahnomen Health Center as a “Below Average”  for the health inspections of the facility.  Deficiencies cited by Medicare based on the most recent inspection include Mahnomen Health Center’s:

  • Failure to provide care by qualified persons according to each resident’s written plan of care.
  • Failure to make sure that residents receive treatment/services to not only continue, but improve the ability to care for themselves.
  • Failure to assist those residents who need total help with eating/drinking, grooming and personal and oral hygiene.
  • Failure to give residents proper treatment to prevent new bed (pressure) sores or heal existing bed sores.
  • Failure to make sure that residents with reduced range of motion get propertreatment and services to increase range of motion.
  • Failure to develop a complete care plan that meets all of a resident’s needs, with timetables and actions that can be measured.
  • Failure to allow the resident the right to participate in the planning or revision of the resident’s care plan.
  • Failure to 1) make sure that each resident’s drug regimen is free from unnecessary drugs; 2) each resident’s entire drug/medication is managed and monitored to achieve highest well being.
  • Failure to have a licensed pharmacist review each resident’s medication(s) at least once a month and report any irregularities to the attending doctor.
  • Failure to have a program that investigates, controls and keeps infection from spreading.

In the two previous inspections, Medicare cited Mahnomen Health Center’s for these additional deficiencies:

  • Failure to provide medically-related social services to help each resident achieve the highest possible quality of life.
  • Failure to provide care by qualified persons according to each resident’s written plan of care.
  • Failure to make sure that each resident gets a nutritional and well balanced diet, unless it is not possible to do so.
  • Failure to provide or obtain dental services for each resident.
  • Failure to make sure each resident receives an accurate assessment by a qualified health professional.
  • Failure to keep the rate of medication errors (wrong drug, wrong dose, wrong time) to less than 5%.

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.

MDH finds physical abuse of vulnerable resident at Coon Rapids care facility

By Kosieradzki Smith Law Firm

September 17, 2014

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) has completed its investigation of abuse concerns at the Bethesda Lutheran Community Cottage 5 in Coon Rapids, Minnesota.  A complaint was filed with the Department alleging that the facility’s client was restrained by two staff members in an  unsafe manner. The Department investigated the matter and found that the staff members restrained the client in a prone position, face-down on the floor, applied physical pressure on the client’s back, and manually retrained the client’s legs.  The MDH concluded that this restraint procedure was unsafe and placed the client at significant risk for potential injury.  The MDH determined that the care givers are responsible for physically abuse of the facility’s resident.  [Case no. HG001003]

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.

Assisted living facility leaves patient, 90, in the sun

By Kosieradzki Smith Law Firm

September 17, 2014

A 90-year-old is in critical condition after being left outside in over 100 degree heat for three hours by his caretakers, according to NBC News. Staff at The Aristocrat, an assisted living facility in Naples, Florida, wheeled the resident outside in the afternoon, where he suffered from overexposure after being neglected.

“Within an hour or so a person can go from heat cramps to heat stroke,” Chief Walter Kopka of Collier Emergency Medical Services told NBC News.

The 90-year-old went into cardiac arrest after nearly a half hour of cooling attempts failed to counter his dehydration, sunburn and severe heat stroke. Three nurses attempted to cool him down, to no avail, as he was non-responsive.

“The body actually shuts down and stores all its heat inside because its lost his ability to sweat,” Kopka said. “It’s very difficult sometimes to regain that breathing and the heat beat because the body has been heated for such a long period of time.”

The Aristocrat is under investigation, according to NBC News. Click here to watch the news report.

Click here to view CBS WINK News report on this story.

Click here to view FOX News report on this story.

For related stories of similar neglect occurring in Minnesota, including a client represented by the Kosieradzki Smith Law Firm, you can check out these prior stories in our blog:

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.

Nurse accused of physically abusing 92-year-old nursing home resident

By Kosieradzki Smith Law Firm

September 17, 2014

A 92-year-old nursing home resident was grabbed by the arms and lifted against her will, causing significant bruising, according to Syracuse.com. The Attorney General’s Office filed a complaint accusing Natalie M. Harris, a nurse manager at Loretto Health and Rehabilitation Center, of physical abuse. Harris was arrested in July, according to Syracuse.com.

The report says that the patient yelled in fright during the incident, and that since, has become apprehensive of care providers, according to Syracuse.com.

Both of the charges against Harris, endangering the welfare of an incompetent or physically disabled person and falsifying business records, are felonies. She was also charged with a misdemeanor in willful violation of the public health law, according to Syracuse.com.

Harris is accused of attempting to cover up the incident. She wrote in the medical report that bruises were the result of the skin condition “senile purpura,” Syracuse.com reports. Senile purpura occurs when the blood vessels became fragile in older people.

Harris said she has been a nurse for 14 years. She was in charge of a 34-bed unit at Loretto, where she said she worked for a year.

The Attorney General complaint showed that the bruises were diagnosed as such, not senile purpura, by a doctor and a physician assistant. “The false entries were made to hide or conceal the act of abuse which caused bruising to the victim’s upper arms,” the complaint says, according to Syracuse.com.

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:   Physical Abuse