Today, The Insider Exclusive Investigative News team, “Goes Behind the Headlines” on location in Minnesota with Mark R. Kosieradzki and Joel E. Smith, at Kosieradzki Smith Law Firm, in Nursing Home Abuse – Know Your Rights to report on how they successfully represented an 89-year-old resident who was raped by Andrew Merzwksi, a caregiver at the Edgewood Vista facility in Hermantown, Minnesota.
Choosing a nursing home can cause a lot of anxiety and feelings of guilt for families. The decision to place a family member under the care of a nursing home facility is usually made when health and/or mental capabilities have declined and the family is no longer able to sufficiently care for their loved one.
All facilities must insure and protect the rights of every resident and provide a clean, healthy, attractive environment. Residents are entitled to treatment regardless of race, color, religion, national origin, ability to pay, or source of payment.
Every resident has the right to request the name and function of all individuals providing them service and the identification of other health care facilities, nursing homes, hospitals, and other institutions that may provide them with services
You may not be aware that……You can review the state surveys of each home that you have an interest in because Medicare and Medicaid facilities are required by law to let you see their survey reports.
Signs to look for that may indicate improper care at a nursing home include strong smells of urine and feces, vests and other devices that tie or hold people down in their beds, lack of privacy, lack of dignity, unanswered calls for help, inactivity and loneliness, and lack of help with eating.
Every resident has the right to receive medical care, nursing care, rehabilitative and restorative therapies, and personal hygiene in a safe, clean environment. Also, residents have the right to be fully informed of his/her medical condition unless the physician indicates in the medical records that it is not in the best interest of the patient to be told. Residents have the right to be advised by a physician or appropriate professional staff of alternative courses of care and treatments and their consequences.
It is imperative to do your homework when choosing a nursing home facility to avoid any instances of foreseeable abuse, neglect, and death that continue to be reported within nursing home facilities nationwide every day. Every resident has the right to be treated with consideration, respect, and dignity in full recognition of his/her individuality.
This includes privacy during medical treatment and care of personal needs. People not involved in the care of the resident should not be present during examinations and treatment without consent from the resident. Every resident should be encouraged and assisted to exercise his/her right to voice grievances and recommend changes in policies and services to facility staff and/or outside representatives of his/her choice without fear of coercion, discrimination, or reprisal.
But as this next Insider Exclusive tragic story clearly demonstrates… Reports of serious, physical, sexual and verbal abuse are “too numerous” among the nation’s nursing homes…
A Congressional Report has found that over 30 percent — of the 5,283 nursing homes in the U.S. were cited for an abuse violation that had to cause harm between January 1999 and January 2001.
Over 2,500 of the violations were serious enough to cause actual harm or to place residents in immediate jeopardy of death or serious injury.
Common problems included untreated bedsores, inadequate medical care, malnutrition, dehydration, preventable accidents, and inadequate sanitation and hygiene. In fact…. In 1,600 cases, the abuse violations were serious enough “to cause actual harm to residents or to place the residents in immediate jeopardy of death or serious injury”.
Then to add insult to injury…. court documents allege that even after the Merzwski admitted to having sex with the elderly woman….an administrator at the home told a sexual-assault nurse…the outrageous story… that the 89-year-old victim had flirted with Merzwksi and made up the story of the assault.
The elderly survivor received no immediate treatment or counseling after she reported the rape to Hermantown police and facility staff. Instead, she was kept against her wishes in the mental health unit of St. Luke’s Hospital in Duluth for nearly 72 hours.
The Nursing Home….. Edgewood Vista is owned by Edgewood Management Group of Grand Forks, N.D., which owns or operates nearly 50 senior living facilities in seven Midwestern states. The company referred calls to a spokesman who could not be reached by our news team.
Advocates for sexual assault survivors say the incident, which occurred in January 2013, highlights the challenges that vulnerable adults face in reporting rape or other incidents of abuse.
Often…their stories are not believed because the events seem too painful to contemplate, and because they are suffering from dementia or other forms of mental illness, say advocates. Merzwski pleaded guilty and was sentenced to only 53 months in prison and ordered him to register as a predatory sex offender for 10 years.
In this special Insider Exclusive Investigative TV expose, we visit with not only the lawyers Mark Kosieradzki and Joel E. Smith, but also, Dr Cheryl Klenow, a medical doctor and the daughter of the victim.
Mark and Joel have earned the highest respect from citizens and lawyers alike…. as one of the best Trial lawyers In Minneapolis…..In Minnesota….. and across the nation. They makes it their dedicated mission to get legitimate and truthful answers to what really happened to their clients in each case. They believe that elders within our community deserve the utmost respect and that any individual who brings harm to an elderly person should be held accountable.
They use the civil court systems to ensure the rights of the elderly are protected and that their abusers are held accountable for their wrongdoing. They see it their mission to fight for people who had been harmed by the willful or negligent actions of others.
Mark and Joel have built a substantial reputation nationwide by consistently winning cases other law firms have turned down. And their amazing courtroom skills and headline grabbing success rate continue to provide their clients with the results they need……And the results they deserve.
You can contact Mark Kosieradzki and Joel Smith @ koslawfirm.com or call 877-552-2873