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Nursing home abuse spurs New Jersey wrongful death suit

Back in March, we wrote about a sad instance of nursing home abuse in which an undercover 'granny cam' showed a staff member at a New Jersey nursing home striking an elderly resident, removing her oxygen max unnecessarily, and otherwise harming the 87-year-old woman. Now, the resident's family has sued the employee, the facility, and various other defendants, claiming that the nursing home abuse caused the resident's untimely death.

When she died, the woman was a resident of the Harborage Nursing Home in North Bergen, North Jersey. Her family had made the difficult decision to place her in the facility due to her severe Alzheimer's disease. In addition, the resident was partially paralyzed, and needed assistance performing everyday tasks.

After seeing bruises on her mother's body, the resident's daughter reported her suspicions of abuse to the facility and New Jersey state officials, neither of which investigated the report. The woman took matters into her own hands, hiding a video camera in her mother's room.

In January, the resident passed away. After her death, her daughter reviewed the video tape, and was shocked to find a nursing aide repeatedly striking her mother and removing her oxygen max unnecessarily and without authorization.

The aide was fired and has been criminally charged. In addition, the daughter has filed a New Jersey wrongful death lawsuit against the aide, the nursing home, its managers, owners and affiliates. In her suit, the daughter claims that the abuse constituted a violation of the resident's fundamental rights both as a citizen and as a resident of the nursing home, and that it was responsible for her "premature and untimely death." In addition, the suit claims that the nursing home was negligent in failing to safeguard the resident's health and welfare.

If a loved one has been injured as a result of nursing home abuse or neglect, please contact Breslin & Breslin for a free consultation.

Source: Examiner, "Alleged nursing home abuse of 87-year-old woman captured on 'granny cam'," Richard Webster, 22 June 2011

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