Media outlets in Texas and around the country have covered several stories in recent years about elder abuse in nursing homes and assisted care facilities. One of the latest such stories involves a disturbing series of events that allegedly took place at a North Carolina nursing home in June. Three female employees of the Salem facility have been charged with assaulting elderly residents, recording the assaults and then sharing the footage on social media. On Aug. 21, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services ordered the facility to cease accepting new residents.
The Winston-Salem Police Department began investigating the facility after receiving a tip about abuse. Investigators discovered that the three women pushed and shoved residents and encouraged them to fight one another for their entertainment. Many of the victims suffered from dementia. Police say the women cheered particularly loudly when one of the residents begged for help as she was being beaten. The women are scheduled to appear in court on Nov. 14.
A spokesperson for the facility says the women were fired as soon senior management learned about the allegations. The representative said that the facility will continue to assist law enforcement and has implemented more thorough staff recruitment and training policies. In addition to encouraging residents to fight, the women are accused of failing to provide residents with medications prescribed by their doctors.
Attorneys with experience in cases involving nursing home abuse and neglect may seek civil remedies against facilities or their insurance companies on behalf of residents who have been mistreated or their loved ones. When pursuing this kind of litigation, attorneys could seek compensatory damages for the victim’s pain and suffering and to cover their medical bills and other costs. Attorneys may also seek punitive damages that could be awarded to deter other facilities from behaving in the same way.