Nursing Aides Face Criminal Charges For Abuse in New Jersey Care Facilities
Nursing home abuse and neglect take place at an alarming rate. Abuse of residents in nursing homes occurs in a variety of ways. Abuse is often physical, leaving not only physical injuries but emotional scars as well. It can also be emotional abuse, which can result in depression, anxiety, and fear but can also manifest in physical illness. The same is true of neglect. Financial abuse is also a common occurrence in nursing homes, with staff members stealing from the very people for whom they are supposed to be caring and protecting.
Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Can Result in Criminal Charges and Civil Liability
When nursing home abuse harms victims, there are civil and criminal remedies available. For example, the victim may file a lawsuit against the perpetrators of abuse and collect monetary damages for their physical and emotional injuries. The nursing home administrators, owners, or operators may also be responsible for the harm if they knew or should have known about it and failed to act to protect the patient. The nursing home may be liable because of the negligent hiring of an abusive employee or negligent supervision as well.
Unfortunately, the public does not always hear about all of the abuse and neglect taking place in our nursing homes. What we do find out, however, is about the extreme cases. Recently, according to a report on NJ.com, several nurses’ aides were charged with a variety of crimes stemming from their abusive behavior toward long-term care patients.
The indictments of Nurses’ Aides in New Jersey
In one of the indictments handed down, two psych aides at Bancroft Neuro Health in Mount Laurel were charged with “physically abusing a disabled resident” at the facility, which cares for children and adults with developmental disabilities. Maria Ruiz and Kendall Crouch, tasked with caring for a disabled man, allegedly “struck him in the face, twisted his hand and wrist, forcefully restrained him to his bed, and forced a urine-soaked towel on his face.” They face charges of conspiracy, neglect, and endangerment.
In another indictment, this one for “theft by failure to make disposition of property received and misapplication of entrusted property,” Karissa-Anne Frannicola was accused of stealing of $20,000 from an elderly nursing home resident. Frannicola had power of attorney over the victim and allegedly took the money over several months in 2017.
Indictments of New Jersey Nurses’ Aides Were the Result of a Large Investigation
The indictments obtained stem from investigations conducted by the New Jersey Office of the Insurance Fraud Prosecutor. The office investigates Medicaid fraud as well as the abuse or neglect of Medicaid patients or patients who live in facilities that receive Medicaid funding from the federal government.
Whether the victims of the criminal activity file lawsuits or seek settlements for their injuries remains to be seen. The victims and their families will have to make the decision that best suits them. They should consider seeking the help of an experienced nursing home abuse lawyer who can help them uncover the facts. Information that may be relevant to their decision to proceed might include:
- Did the care facilities have reason to know the employees might commit these acts?
- Did the facilities take proper precautions or actions to keep their residents free from harm?
- Did someone report the abuse and was any action taken to discipline the employee?
Alonso Krangle, LLP handles nursing home abuse and neglect cases for families throughout New York and New Jersey. Call us today for a free evaluation of your nursing home abuse case.