Nursing homes sometimes fail their obligation to protect residents from being crime victims says Boca nursing home abuse lawyer Joe Osborne.
Nursing homes have a responsibility to keep residents from harm. You may think of that as preventing falls or bed sores but it’s much more than that. It includes keeping residents away from criminals, including those who are employees and fellow residents. Boca nursing home abuse lawyer Joe Osborne states nursing homes’ obligation to keep residents safe includes sufficient supervision of residents and properly screening job applicants.
A former North Miami nursing home employee faces three counts each of grand theft and exploitation of the elderly after her arrest in August, reports WPLG1. Haymee Hernandez is accused of deceiving three sick or disabled residents and stealing more than $13,000 from their bank accounts. She was the Medicaid coordinator at the Claridge House in North Miami, adds Joe Osborne, a nursing home negligence attorney in Boca Raton.
- The Medicaid Fraud Control Unit of the Florida Office of the Attorney General states Hernandez used some of the money to shop at Macy’s and buy baked goods, among other things.
- Hernandez is accused of conning victims into giving her their ATM cards, then accessing their accounts and withdrawing cash without their knowledge or consent.
- She falsely told nursing home residents they had too much money in their accounts to qualify for Medicaid. Hernandez offered to make withdrawals and put their cash in a nursing home safe. Instead she spent the money on herself.
- It was a successful con at least three times. Her victims included a man with diabetes, anemia, chronic kidney disease and hypertension. Another is wheelchair bound and a third is partially blind.
- After being confronted by authorities and the nursing home administrator Hernandez admitted to using patients’ money due to financial problems caused by her divorce. She faces a possible jail sentence of up to 30 years if convicted.
It’s not just employees who are a possible threat to nursing home residents. An 87-year-old nursing home resident faces criminal charges after he was found having sex with a 94-year-old man debilitated by Parkinson’s disease and too disabled to consent. Louis Lawson was charged with sexual battery in July, according to the Palm Beach Post2.
- His roommate told Lantana police Lawson would “screw anything that walked” and was “oversexed.”
- He was living at the Village on High Ridge. Employees stated they have found Lawson touching himself and was known for grabbing and fondling staff but he had no prior criminal record in Palm Beach County.
- The Lantana facility is in the bottom 20% of the state’s nursing homes for administration, according to rankings by the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration. Overall the facility received two out of a possible five stars.
- When the newspaper asked the facility about the situation, they responded the alleged sexual assault of a severely disabled 94-year-old man and resulting criminal charges had been blown out of proportion by the media and declined to comment.
If a loved one has been the victim of a crime in a South Florida nursing home, whether that involves a physical or sexual assault or financial exploitation, contact Boca Raton nursing home abuse lawyer Joe Osborne at (561) 800-4011 or fill out this online contact form. You can discuss the case, how the law may apply and the best legal options to protect the nursing home resident’s rights and obtain compensation for the harm done.
1 WPLG- www.local10.com/news/crime/former-north-miami-nursing-home-employee-bilks-from-sick-disabled-patients
2 Palm Beach Post- www.palmbeachpost.com/news/crime–law/lantana-nursing-home-resident-charged-with-sexual-battery/05XhtFvdXO2BqMbk6CWAPM/