Hidden Camera Captures Nursing Home Abuse

When someone moves into a nursing home, friends and family members expect that the person will be cared for in a compassionate manner. Unfortunately, this is not always the case, as demonstrated by hidden camera footage of a nursing home worker caught abusing one of her patients. Those who suspect their family members or loved ones have suffered elder abuse in such a facility are encouraged to contact a New York nursing home abuse lawyer to determine their options for pursuing legal recourse.

Reports of elder abuse were ignored

According to a recent article in the New York Daily News (February 19, 2013), Diana Valentin started to suspect that her grandmother was being abused when she noticed odd bruising on the woman’s forehead and hand. When she complained to someone at the nursing home, she was told that her grandmother got the bruises by banging her arms against the railing of her bed. Valentin complained multiple times before taking matters into her own hands and installing a hidden camera to document any instances of elder abuse or nursing home neglect.

Video footage documents abuse

Valentin recorded more than 600 hours of video footage, some of which showed the alleged abuser twisting her grandmother’s arm and “slamming her into the bed.” Since Valentin released the footage, the caregiver has been charged with endangering the welfare of a physically disabled person. The nursing home has not commented on the allegations, but New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman released a statement saying his office has zero tolerance for workers who commit acts of violence against the elderly.

Filing a nursing home abuse lawsuit New York

A New York nursing home abuse lawyer can help the victims of abuse, neglect or medical negligence protect themselves by filing a civil suit against the nursing home or the caregiver. This suit is separate from any criminal action that a prosecutor may pursue against the abuser. A nursing home may be liable for abuse that occurred on its premises if administrators were negligent in hiring employees or purchasing equipment; if staff members were negligent in their care of residents; or if the facility was not maintained properly. To win this type of lawsuit, the plaintiff must be able to prove that the facility owed a duty of care to the resident; that the breach of duty led to the resident’s injury; and that an employee’s actions caused the injury.

Proving physical or emotional abuse

Not every nursing home resident has a hidden camera available to document acts of abuse or neglect. In this case, the plaintiff may have to rely on expert witnesses to explain how the employee’s actions caused an injury. Medical records may help prove that a nursing home resident sustained repeated injuries. Expert witnesses and medical records may also help prove that a nursing home resident suffered dehydration, bed sores, malnutrition or other conditions that were the result of medical negligence or nursing home neglect.

Compensation for nursing home neglect

If a plaintiff successfully sues a nursing home for elder abuse or neglect, the amount of the award will vary based on the extent of the injuries and whether the parties agree to a settlement before the jury renders a verdict. If abuse or neglect leads to the wrongful death of a nursing home resident, the amount awarded may be more than $1 million.

Hiring a New York nursing home abuse lawyer

The Sanders Firm has experienced New York personal injury lawyers who are dedicated to fighting for the rights of the elderly. If your loved one suffered physical or emotional abuse at the hands of a caregiver, contact us for a free consultation with a New York nursing home abuse lawyer. Call 1-800-FAIR-PLAY to find out if you are eligible to file a lawsuit against the caregiver or the nursing home.