94-Year-Old Woman Left In Recliner
For 41 Hours, Attorney General Alleges
COOPERSTOWN – Four former employees of Focus Rehabilitation & Nursing Center were arrested for allegedly leaving a 94-year-old resident alone in a recliner for nearly two days, according to Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman.
LPN Lorraine Caldwell, 54, Holland Patient; LPN Amanda Gus, 30, Hartwick; Sarah Schuyler, certified nurse assistant (CNA), 29, and CNA Donna Gray, 48, Sidney, face charges they they each failed to provide care to a 94-year-old resident over the Memorial Day weekend this year.
Surveillance camera footage allegedly shows a resident, identified as “M.P,” was left in a recliner for 41 hours, receiving only one meal, one round of her medications and one change of her briefs. At the end of the 41-hour period, the resident was removed from the recliner, returned to her room and diagnosed with a pressure sore measuring 4 cm x 2 cm.
“Our healthcare workers have a basic duty to care for their patients, to provide required care, keep them safe and not to injure them,” Attorney General Schneiderman said. “My office will bring to justice caregivers who hurt and neglect patients, who ignore the law and safety protocols, and who falsify records to cover up their crimes.”
According to Schneiderman’s press release, charges were brought including falsifying business records, endangering the welfare of an incompetent or physically disabled person in the first degree, as well as the misdemeanor charge of willful violation of health laws.
According to Gray’s lawyer, Dennis Laughlin of Cherry Valley, she was only charged with a misdemeanor.
They four were arriagned today before Otsego Town Justice Gary Kuch in Fly Creek. The defendants were released on their own recognizance.
The investigation was conducted by Investigators Danette Benson and Michael Connelly of Albany’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit with the assistance of Medical Analyst Stephanie Keyser, Supervising Investigator Dianne Hart and Upstate Deputy Chief Investigator William Falk.
This case was handled by Regional Director Kathleen Boland and Special Assistant Attorney General Erin Lynch of the Albany Regional Office Medicaid Fraud Control Unit of the Office of the Attorney General. Catherine Wagner is MFCU’s Upstate Chief of Criminal Investigations. The New York Medicaid Fraud Control Unit is led by Director Amy Held and Assistant Deputy Attorney General Paul Mahoney. The Criminal Justice Division is led by Kelly Donovan.