An experienced nursing home abuse lawyer knows individual staff members of nursing home facilities in Birmingham, Homewood, Mountain Brook, Vestavia Hills and surrounding locations are generally the ones who engage in abusive behavior towards residents and who are neglectful of the needs of nursing home patients.
While staff members may be the ones who engage in day-to-day wrongful practices that cause harm, most nursing home abuse cases are brought against owners and managers of nursing home facilities. This is because the nursing home (and its owners) are the ones ultimately responsible for employee conduct, and who have insured against those risks.
Because nursing homes can be held accountable for abuse staff members engage in while on duty, it creates a perverse incentive for nursing home owners and those in charge of managing the nursing home to try to cover up abuse and neglect. This, in turn, makes it harder for people to identify when nursing home residents have been harmed and to take action to stop the abuse from continuing.
Nursing Home Owners and Managers Accused of Covering Up Abuse and Neglect
Recently, Syracuse.com reported troubling accusations made against owners and top managers of a nursing home. The owners and managers were accused of covering up incidents of patient abuse and neglect and were indicted on criminal charges.
The incidents of abuse occurred in May 2013. The first involved a serious medication error that did not get noticed for several days. The second involved a patient who was suffering from dementia who engaged in sexual conduct with another resident in a dining room that was left unsupervised.
Nursing home administrators and managers should have taken action after these incidents, both to protect residents who had been harmed and to prevent further similar instances from happening that could injure other residents. Instead, electronic evidence of the events was destroyed and other efforts to cover up the incidents were undertaken. This resulted in a 45-count criminal indictment against nursing home owners and managers.
The coverup came to light when a nursing home employee was interviewed about the incidents in question. The owner of the facility criminally eavesdropped on investigators from the Attorney General's office when the interview was being conducted.
When problems are covered up, instead of addressed head-on, there is a significant risk that future incidents will occur and more people will be hurt. Staff members also learn that coverups are expected when problems happen so are incentivized not to take responsibility or come forward to help fix issues that put residents at risk.
Coverups need to lead to criminal prosecutions and the indictments here of managers and the owner of the home will hopefully help send an important message to others in positions of power that abuse of residents will not be tolerated.
Victims of Birmingham, AL nursing home abuse should consult with a personal injury lawyer at Shuttlesworth Lasseter, LLC. Call 866-583-1885 today. Serving Birmingham, suburbs of Homewood, Mountain Brook and Vestavia Hills and surrounding locations.