A former Minnesota nursing home caregiver has been charged criminally after a 100-year-old resident he was lifting by mechanical lift fell from a height of approximately five feet, causing multiple fractures and other injuries from which the resident died one week later. The 29-year-old nursing home worker was charged with second-degree manslaughter, mistreatment of patients, and two counts of criminal neglect. Source
On September 10, 2017, the Minnesota nursing home worker (“defendant”) gave the resident a bath (he had transferred the resident from her wheelchair to the bathtub without assistance despite the resident’s care plan that required two staff assistance when transferring in and out of the bathtub). After the bath was completed, the defendant raised the tub chair lift to its maximum height of three and a half feet and lifted the resident up and over the side of the tub instead of waiting for the water to drain so that the resident could be slid out of the tub through the tub door. The defendant kept the resident in the elevated position while he dried her with a towel. He then removed the resident’s seat belt and attempted to place the total lift sling under the resident.
As the wet and slippery resident tensed up and leaned forward, the defendant lost his grip on the resident and the resident fell to the floor, landing on her feet and left side. The resident’s fractured bones in her left leg were visible and her left ankle was twisted and attached to her leg by only her skin.
At the hospital, the resident was found to have suffered comminuted bilateral tibial and fibula fractures, an open left ankle fracture, and a suspected hip fracture. The resident was determined not to be a good candidate for surgery. She was transferred to hospice services where she died two days later.
The defendant reportedly told the Minnesota Department of Health Office of Health Facility Complaints investigator that he felt rushed to give the resident a bath which is why he did not ask for assistance. He also reportedly told the investigator that he did not want to wait for the water to drain from the tub. The defendant reportedly acknowledged that he was aware that the resident’s care plan required two staff assistance to transfer her in and out of the tub. He also reportedly told the investigator that instead of staying with the resident and summoning help by telephone, walkie talkie, or call light, he left the resident alone in the tub room.
If you or a loved one suffered injuries (or worse) while a resident of a nursing home in Minnesota or in another U.S. state due to nursing home neglect, nursing home negligence, nursing home abuse, a nursing home fall, or the nursing home failing to properly care for a vulnerable adult, you should promptly find a nursing home claim lawyer in Minnesota or in your state who may investigate your nursing home claim for you and file a nursing home claim on your behalf or behalf of your loved one, if appropriate.
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