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Failure to charge highlights nursing home system failure

Oklahoma is routinely ranked one of the worst states for nursing home care in the country, and earlier this month the system experienced what advocates are calling “an absolute failure,” when a nurse’s aide who allegedly abused a patient was never brought up on charges.

No employees were ever held criminally responsible, according to KOCO News in Oklahoma City, even though the nursing home was ordered to pay $15 million in abuse damages.

“The actions of the defendant are atrocious and utterly intolerable in a civilized society,” the district judge wrote in her finding, according to KOCO.

“This is an absolute failure,” Wes Bledsoe, head of the advocacy group “A Perfect Cause,” told KOCO.

The lawsuit stemmed from an incident in which the nurse’s aide grabbed an 80-year-old, resulting in a broken wrist. The incident occurred in 2010, according to KOCO.

Four years later, the nurse’s aide could still be working in nursing homes with a spotless record.

Advocacy groups are worried about this.

“The likelihood is they’ve abused one person, there is a likelihood they have abused others and yet this person has had no action taken against them at all,” Bledsoe told KOCO. “It’s our understanding that Adult Protective Service did in fact substantiate abuse by caretaker in that case.”

Earlier this month, a national advocacy group rated Oklahoma 49th out of 50 states in nursing home care, according to KOCO.

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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.