HareWynn | February 1, 2021 | Nursing Home Abuse
According to the National Center on Elder Abuse, nursing home abuse has been recognized as a significant problem in the United States since the 1970s, and unfortunately, the state of Kentucky is not immune. Throughout the 2015 fiscal year alone, there were more than 12,000 calls to the Kentucky Department for Community Based Services that were referred to Adult Protective Services for investigation.
Subsequently, in March of 2019, the Kentucky Office of Medicaid Fraud and Abuse announced that a Madisonville nurse had been indicted on felony charges of abusing an adult patient. The nurse was formally charged in a Hopkins Circuit Court on one count of abusing or neglecting an adult.
According to court documents, the nurse worked as a licensed practical nurse (LPN) at an unidentified nursing home in Madisonville. She was accused of slapping a nursing home patient under her care across the mouth, as well as pinching and twisting the skin on the patient’s arm sometime in March of 2018.
Under Kentucky law, knowingly abusing or neglecting an adult is considered a Class C felony, punishable by up to ten years in prison.
In July of 2020, after months of investigation, the nurse was convicted of reckless abuse of a vulnerable adult, which is considered a Class A misdemeanor. In court, the Madisonville nurse entered what is known as an Alford plea, a type of plea in criminal trials in which the defendant does not accept guilt but admits that prosecutors would likely have enough evidence to convict them regardless.
As a result, the nurse was sentenced to twelve months of probation by the Hopkins Circuit Court. In addition to her probationary period, the nurse also voluntarily agreed to be placed on Kentucky’s Caregiver Misconduct Registry as part of her plea agreement. The nurse’s name will remain on the registry’s list for a period of seven years.
The office of Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron did not release the name of the nursing home where the nurse is said to have committed the offense. However, according to news reports, court records indicate that the nurse was released from custody in February 2019 on the condition that she stay away from the Ridgewood Terrace Health and Rehabilitation Center’s premises in northeastern Madisonville.
Contact a Kentucky Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Today
If you suspect that your loved one may be the victim of nursing home abuse or neglect, it’s important to act quickly. Not only may your loved one be in danger, there is a time limit of just one year to file nursing home abuse cases here in Kentucky. Call the experienced nursing home abuse lawyers of Hare, Wynn, Newell & Newton, LLP today at (859) 550-2900 or contact us online for a free, no-obligation case review.