It’s fortunately rare that I find a local news story directly relevant to my practice as a Pennsylvania nursing home lawyer. But I’m sorry to say that news reports broke last week of an incident of abuse caught on camera at a nursing home in Haverford, in Delaware County. As the Philadelphia Inquirer reported April 8, three women have been fired from the Quadrangle nursing home and charged with crimes after being caught on tape hitting and tormenting patient Lois McCallister, 78. Samirah Traynham, 22, Tyrina Griffin, 21, and Ayesha Mohammed, 19, are all charged with aggravated assault, criminal conspiracy, harassment, neglect of a care-dependent person and more. The police and the state Department of Public Welfare are both investigating, and McCallister has been removed to the care of her daughter and son-in-law, Mary and Paul Franch.
The Franches planted a hidden camera in McCallister’s room at the Quadrangle after McCallister told them she had been hit and slapped, then later showed them bruises. The home told the Franches that McCallister’s dementia was likely the reason for the complaints. The camera told a different story. In one video, Traynham slaps and hits McCallister as she struggles to pull a shirt over her head. In another, all three employees mocked McCallister as she stands there, topless, and repeatedly prevent her from leaving the room when she tries. Griffin helps McCallister put her shirt on, but then she and another employee pull and slap at McCallister’s ears, which are sensitive because she had hearing aids removed. Griffin shadow boxes at McCallister and Mohammed pokes her in the eye. Five minutes after the more recent video was taken, the Franches showed up for a visit. They said McCallister was agitated and asked “Why do they keep picking on me?”
As a Philadelphia injury lawyer, I wish I had an answer for Mrs. McCallister. However, it looks like this is not the first regulatory trouble for the Quadrangle. The home was issued a provisional license in May of 2009 after one dementia patient ingested paint and another antibacterial cleaner. The home was cited for failing to keep the hazardous materials out of patients’ reach, failing to obtain medical care and failing to report the incidents to the DPW. Its for-profit parent company, Sunrise Senior Living, has had 25 citations from the DPW for its 18 Pennsylvania facilities since 2007. Frequently, this kind of Pennsylvania nursing home abuse and neglect stems from cost-cutting, which stretches staffers thin, encourages fast turnover and encourages the use of inexperienced or less well trained staff — which may explain why McCallister’s caretakers were ages 19 to 22. Saving money is an important part of a for-profit business, but as a Philadelphia medical malpractice lawyer, I know it can also cost the company a lot of money in the long run, when patients whose health and dignity were compromised file successful lawsuits.
If your family has suffered a serious incident of abuse and neglect against a vulnerable loved one in a nursing home, you can and should hold the abusive home responsible. For a free, confidential evaluation of your case, call Rosenbaum & Associates today at 1-800-7-LEGAL-7 or send us a message through our website.