Minnesota’s state Security Hospital in St. Peter was found last week to have deliberately misled a Hennepin County judge regarding the care of mentally ill woman, according to the Star-Tribune. The judge concluded that the patient was the victim of medical neglect.
Judge Jay Quam has accused the woman’s psychiatrist and the facility’s medical director falsified medical records after-the-fact: “They made up records months after the fact …” Judge Quam concluded that this wrongdoing, “caused her to lose a year of her life without any gain to show for it.”
The victim was held in the facility for 16 months, awaiting trial. Judge Quam said that the woman was left under-medicated and sleep deprived.
The victim may be one of many individuals receiving neglectful medical treatment at the facility. The judge has ordered the facility to produce medical files for another six patients in order to ensure that the patients are not being held longer than necessary.
The judge discovered that the patient’s medical records had been altered untruthfully when documents that were not available at one of the previous trials suddenly surfaced.
In a court testimony, the facility’s medical director admitted that the patient’s psychiatrist had not been maintaining the patient’s medical charts. The director instructed the psychiatrist to reconstruct the medical records for presentation to the court.
Irregularities in medical documents often prove to be the deciding factor in cases of medical neglect or abuse. The type of document analysis employed in this high-profile case is nothing new to the Kosieradzki-Smith Law Firm.
The following blog series will outline the principles and methods behind scientific document analysis. In the coming articles, you will learn about the importance of medical records, why people untruthfully alter records, and the range of scientific tools available to uncover medical document-related wrongdoing.
For the other parts in this 4-part series, click on the following:
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. As Judge Quam found at the St. Peter institution, sometimes those care providers attempt to cover up their wrongdoing by falsifying patient records. If you believe your loved one has been wronged by a care provider, 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.