Those who live in nursing homes or other residential care facilities in New Mexico and across the country often have high care needs, including with activities of daily living in addition to medical treatment. Because of their physical and cognitive conditions, the residents could potentially become victims of nursing home abuse or neglect; many may not be able to advocate for themselves. In fact, a woman in another state has entered an Alford plea after she was accused of abusing a nursing home resident.
The incident reportedly happened in March 2018. The 36-year-old was accused of slapping and pinching the victim. Reports indicate that the accused woman was providing medical services in her role as a licensed practical nurse at the time the incident occurred.
By entering an Alford plea, the woman is not admitting guilt but is acknowledging that there is sufficient evidence to convict her of a charge of reckless abuse or neglect of an adult. She will serve 12 months of probation. Additionally, she will spend seven years listed on a Caregiver Misconduct Registry.
Despite the outcome of the case, details regarding the events leading up to the incident are unclear. Unfortunately, nursing home abuse not only has physical ramifications; victims often also suffer emotional distress as a result of the harm caused by someone who is tasked with providing the care that they need. While perpetrators of such abuse may face criminal charges, victims and their families may also need assistance with the financial ramifications of such treatment, potentially including medical treatment or a transfer to a different facility. Fortunately, filing a personal injury lawsuit in New Mexico against those believed to be responsible — potentially including the individual employee as well as the company that employs him or her — may be one way to ensure that these financial burdens are met.