Schneiderman: We Will Bring To Justice Caregivers Who Ignore The Law By Hurting And Neglecting Patients
Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today announced the arrest and arraignment of four former employees of Focus Rehabilitation and Nursing Center (Focus) Lorraine Caldwell, Licensed Practical Nurse (L.P.N.), 54 years old from Holland Patient, NY, Amanda Gus, L.P.N., 30 years old from Hartwick, NY, Sarah Schuyler, Certified Nurse Assistant (C.N.A.), 29 years old from Mohawk, NY, and Donna Gray, C.N.A., 48 years old from Sidney, on charges alleging that they each failed to provide care to a 94-year-old resident over the Memorial Day weekend this year.
“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.”
For over 41 hours over Memorial Day weekend while she was a resident at Focus, resident M.P. was allegedly left in a recliner and received substandard care. During this period of time, staff members allegedly failed to administer medications and fulfill basic necessities like providing food and incontinence care with the exception of one meal, one round of medications, and one change of her briefs.
All of this was captured by a facility video camera.
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. Defendants Lorraine Caldwell, Amanda Gus and Sarah Schuyler were arraigned on various felony charges of Falsifying Business Records, Endangering the Welfare of an Incompetent or Physically Disabled Person in the First Degree, as well as the misdemeanor charge of Wilful Violation of Health Laws, and defendant Donna Gray was arraigned on the misdemeanor charge of Wilful Violation of Health Laws, before Honorable Gary Kuch in Otsego Town Court.
The defendants were released on their own recognizance.
The charges against the defendants are accusations and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
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.