South Carolina Nursing Home Blog

South Carolina Nursing Home Blog

Nursing Home Information & Litigation

Cover-up Causes Delay in Care

Posted in Fall Prevention, Trial themes

News4Jax reported the tragic and preventable death of Nadine McBurnett while a resident at Terrace of Jacksonville nursing home.  McBurnett suffered a preventable fall at the home but the facility failed to contact the family or provide emergency care for over three hours.

The family is suing the nursing home entrusted with her care.  Letter of intent to sue  They said if she had gotten timely medical attention, she would not have died, and they said the facility has been covering it up.


The family said McBurnett was having her bed sheets changed by a nursing assistant, and the railing on the bed was pulled down.  McBurnett required two nursing assistants to safely transfer her, but at the time of her fall, only one was helping her.  McBurnett fell off the bed and was severely injured.  The caregivers just cleaned the blood up and put her back in the bed. There was a video camera outside McBurnett’s room door, but the facility deleted the video

McBurnett’s wounds were not addressed, because when she went to the hospital, she was covered in bruises on her head and shoulders. The ambulance company report said McBurnett had a large 4-5-inch long and 1.5-2-inch wide hematoma beginning just above her right eye.  She remained alive for around another month, but with a painful broken hip.
McBurnett injuryMcBurnett injury
“If this has been a child, if this had been a teenager, if this had been a young mom, or excuse me, if this had been a dog and this happened to them, this would be outrage. This would be everywhere,” her daughter Patte Wallace said. “But this is an old lady who looks pathetic right there, and they see her as no value.”


CNA Sexually Assaults Resident

Posted in Abuse and Neglect, Staffing

WCNC had two articles (here and here) about the horrific sexual assault of a nursing home resident by a caregiver.  Douglas Steven Little has been charged with second-degree forcible sex offense, sexual act by a private institution employee/custodian, and a crime against nature.   The female victim reportedly suffers from dementia and was not capable of defending herself, according to Union County officials.

Authorities responded to the Lake Park Nursing and Rehabilitation Services after receiving a call about a reported sexual assault. When deputies arrived on scene, administration told them than an employee witnessed a male certified nursing assistant sexually assault a patient at around 3:30 a.m.

NBC Charlotte asked about background checks at the Lake Park facility and were told the facility performs them, as instructed by state regulations.  The facility told WBTV that Little worked at the facility for about 13 years.


Surveillance Video Records Assault

Posted in Abuse and Neglect, Trial themes

WKBW reported on a incident that once again proves how necessary cameras in nursing homes are to protect the residents from abuse and neglect.   Susan Sanborn, a social worker at Absolut Care of Orchard Park, is facing charges after being caught on surveillance video pushing a nursing home resident to the ground and kicking the resident.

According to Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, Sanborn pushed a 68-year-old resident to the ground while exiting a room then kicking their legs out of the way of an exit door before closing the door and leaving the unit.  Sanborn is charged with endangering the welfare of an incompetent or physically disabled person, and faces up to four years in prison.

Theft of Patient Funds

Posted in Abuse and Neglect, Advocacy, Trial themes

WTVM reported that Elener Wyckoff, an employee of Adams Nursing Home, was indicted for stealing money from patient trust funds.  Wyckoff  stole $2,470 when she worked as a social services assistant for Adams Nursing Home. The attorney General’s Medicaid fraud control Unit presented evidence resulting in Wyckoff being indicted, charging her with theft of property in the second degree.

Wyckoff’s responsibilities was to manage patient trust funds and purchase items based off the patients’ needs and wants. It’s alleged that instead Wyckoff cashed the checks and kept the money.  When confronted Wyckoff tried to hide the theft by manufacturing and copying receipts from local businesses showing items had been purchased, but no items had been bought or distributed to the patients.

Theft of property in the first degree is a class C felony and can result in a prison sentence of a year and one day to ten years in the Department of Corrections.

Falsifying Records and Fraud

Posted in Medicare, Regulatory enforcement, Trial themes

CYNCentral and WKTV reported that Mohawk Valley Nursing Home LLC pled guilty to falsifying business records and has agreed to pay $1 million in overpayments to the Medicaid program.  This resolves a case that involved a 45-count indictment that alleged patient abuse and neglect and charges of falsifying records to cover up the incidents at the nursing home.
Owners and officials at a Mohwak Valley Health Care Center pleaded guilty to an array of charges including falsifying business records along with suppressing incidents of patient abuse and neglect, according to U.S. Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.

The investigation began after the nursing home had helped to cover-up an incident involving a serious medication error that went unnoticed for several days, as well as, an incident where a resident suffering from dementia engaged in “unlawful sexual conduct” with another resident in an unsupervised dining room, a statement from AG Schneiderman explained.  “The neglect shown by senior leadership at this facility is shocking,” State Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman said.

Nursing Home Ignores Assault Recorded by Video

Posted in Abuse and Neglect, Staffing, Trial themes

The Times-Tribune reported that the Gardens of Green Ridge,and its corporate parent, Saber Healthcare Group LLC. have been sued after failing to report or investigate that two aides assaulted an elderly dementia patient after being made aware of the incident.  Thomas Drewes filed suit on behalf of his mother, Joan Drewes.  Ms. Drewes was a resident at the facility on Oct. 25, 2014, when nursing aides Joshua Wegielewski and Catherine Cordaro assaulted her, the suit says.

According to the lawsuit, video surveillance showed the aides grabbed Ms. Drewes’ wrists and arms, dragged her across the floor and strapped her into her bed against her will, causing extensive bruising on her arms, face and shoulders. They also held a door shut to prevent her from leaving her room.

The suit says the facility’s administrators were told of the assault the next day but took no action against the aides and did not report it to police, the state Department of Public Welfare or any other agency. The assault came to light only after another employee, who feared it would not be reported, contacted the Area Agency on Aging, which reported the incident to authorities.

Mr. Wegielewski was charged in December 2014 with simple assault and two other offenses. He pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of disorderly conduct and was sentenced in July to three months to one year in prison. A criminal complaint was drafted against Ms. Cordaro but she was never arrested because she fell into a coma shortly after the incident.

No jail time for Sex Offender

Posted in Abuse and Neglect, Advocacy, Staffing, Trial themes

Mid Sussex Times reported that Dhannajee Marottee was arrested in July 2013 following an allegation of sexual assault against a woman who was a patient at Worthing Hospital, where he worked at the time. In January 2014 he was charged with a sexual assault against a woman for an offence that occurred at Ladymead Nursing Home, Hassocks, in 2010. The female was applying for a job at the location.

Marottee, who worked in the A&E department at Worthing Hospital, was found guilty of both counts by a jury at Brighton Crown Court on November 27, and sentenced on December 16. Apparently he won’t serve any jail time though.

For the first offence where he was working at Worthing Hospital, he was sentenced to 12 months’ imprisonment, suspended for 12 months, and 150 hours of unpaid work.  Who is gonna hire this guy?

For the second offence, where he was working at Ladymead Nursing Home, he was sentenced to six months’ imprisonment, suspended for 12 months, to run concurrently.

He was also placed on the Sex Offenders Register but for only five years!


Negligent Hiring

Posted in Staffing, Trial themes

The Tennessean reported the arrest of Alicia D. Brooks, a nursing home technician, for identity theft and fraudulent use of a credit card after Metro police say she opened up credit cards in the name of a patient she cared for at Vancor Manor nursing home and racked up thousands of dollars on them, an affidavit shows.  Brooks was already on probation for using a dead patient’s banking card previously.

According to a criminal complaint, on Dec. 17 the victim stopped receiving mail at his home, and when the man’s family researched why, they found Brooks created several credit cards combining her name and the victim’s name, and that she also added her name to the victim’s Sears credit card. The complaint goes onto say Brooks charged more than $2,500 on cards to businesses, including Kmart and Kirkland’s.

On Dec. 22, Metro police stopped Brooks in a parking lot where she was slated to report to a probation officer. Brooks was on probation for fraudulent use of a credit card after the son of a woman who died March 23 noticed several unauthorized purchases made on his mother’s Regions Bank card several days after her death.  How in the heck did she get hired in the first place!?!

During a search of her vehicle they found mail that belonged to the victim. In a taped interview, she blamed the crimes on another person.  However, Brooks was caught on camera March 23 at the Kroger in the 800 block of Monroe Street buying groceries and gas using the Regions Bank card that had been taken from the woman’s room while she stayed at the assisted living home, court documents show.

Caregiver Assaults Resident

Posted in Abuse and Neglect, Advocacy

WSBTV reported that police accuse 34-year-old nursing assistant at Indian Trail Road Nursing Home Joan Malcolm of punching resident Elizabeth Diaz in the face after the care worker came into her room on Christmas Day to change her.  Diaz has an injured eye and a broken nose which may need surgery to fix. “It’s swollen she can’t breathe through the left nose, left side. Where the impact took place,” Pedro Diaz said.

“Oh my. Happy New Year,” Pedro Diaz said after he learned the woman accused of attacking his mother in the Lilburn nursing home is now behind bars,  “You put all your trust in individuals like them and then you turn around and you’re like what do you do now?” Pedro Diaz said.

Diaz says he is working to get his mother out of the Pruitt Health Facility, even though Malcom is behind bars.

“My main concern is her well-being if it’s got to be a facility until we prepare something for her at home,” Pedro Diaz said.

Genesis Settles False Claims Act allegations

Posted in Abuse and Neglect, Advocacy, Medicare, Trial themes

McKnights’ reported that Genesis Healthcare LLC will pay $600,000 to resolve False Claims Act allegations for a skilled nursing facility in Arlington, VA. In addition to the settlement, the nursing home chain will pay for a transition consultant to assist the new operator of the skilled nursing facility for a year. This consultant will help “identify risks and opportunities for improvement in providing skilled nursing services to residents at the facility.”  The facility was sold in March 2015 and is now called Regency Care of Arlington.

Potomac Center employees were accused of failing to provide patient care activities as recorded in the resident medical record of a patient and not providing certain care activities consistent with a physician order, the Department of Justice, Eastern District of Virginia, said in a statement.