Nursing Home Abuse Captured on Film Leads to a $1.2 Million Jury Verdict in Favor of Victim
They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but in the case of Eryetha Mayberry of Oklahoma City, a video clip was worth a staggering 1.2 million dollars.
In our opinion, as nursing home attorneys, this victim deserves every penny against cruel and hurtful caretakers that abused the poor nursing home resident. Luckily, the family concealed a hidden nanny camera in Mom’s nursing home room and captured the horrid abuse on film.
Background of the Case Against the Nursing Home
The process began when Mrs. Mayberry, a 96-year-old woman suffering from dementia, was placed in the Quail Creek Nursing Home and Rehabilitation Center located at 13500 Brandon Place in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
Quail Creek Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma is a for-profit nursing home owned by a corporate entity with 118 beds. Although it does participate in Medicare and Medicaid, according to CMS.gov, the facility has a below average health inspection rating.
When the Mayberry Family Suspected Nursing Home Abuse, they Hid a Nanny Cam to Catch the Abuse on Camera
Mrs. Mayberry’s three daughters, Doris, Earlene, and Sandra, visited their mother and suspected that someone was stealing from her. The family could not even conceptualize that the caretakers were intentionally abusing their vulnerable mother.
Elder abuse can be physical, with bruising, burns, scratches, or lacerations. But physical abuse may also have no tell-tale signs if the victim is slapped, pushed, punched, or choked.
Sexual abuse is insidious and women are six times more likely to be victimized. There may be trauma to private parts, bleeding, discomfort sitting, or bruises between the thighs.
Psychological abuse can include belittling, berating, and scolding—all of which can be documented.
Shocking and Disturbing Incidents of Nursing Home Abuse Captured on Camera
Suspecting that their mother was being victimized, Ms. Mayberry’s daughters bought a small video camera and installed it in her room at Quail Creek Nursing Home. When they watched the footage, they were shocked to see two of their mother’s female caretakers becoming violent with the elderly defenseless patient.
Allegedly, it showed Quail Creek employees Lucy Waithira Gakunga, 23, and Caroline Kaseke, 28, as they slapped the patient, pushed her down, hit her on the head, and shoved a wad of latex gloves into Ms. Mayberry’s mouth.
After being reported to the authorities at the nursing facility, the two employees were fired and turned over to the police where they faced criminal charges. Allegations were filed and a civil lawsuit was brought against Quail Creek Nursing Home and Rehabilitation Center. The case reached federal court in Oklahoma City and the judge announced the verdict on February 13, 2019.
The jury found the nursing home guilty of negligence and abuse and awarded the plaintiffs 1.2 million dollars. Sadly, Mrs. Mayberry passed away in July 2012, just after the video was viewed. The monetary award will go to Ms. Mayberry’s estate and likely pass on to her surviving family members.
Attorneys for Quail Creek said the jury’s award was excessive. The defense team is investigating a potential appeal of the jury verdict.
Oklahoma’s nursing homes rank third-worst in the country last year, according to data gathered by the nonprofit group Families for Better Care.
How You Can Catch Nursing Home Abusers on Camera
Mini-cameras are available on Amazon starting at about $20. They are smaller than a cigarette lighter and some allow you to watch in real time on your smartphone. They record what’s going on in the room where your loved one may become a victim, like Mrs. Mayberry.
How Cameras are Helpful in Proving Nursing Home Negligence Cases
In elder abuse lawsuits, documentation is key. You should always document bruises on loved ones with photographs that can be used in court. Videos are even better.
If you suspect abuse, please feel free to contact our nursing home abuse law firm today for a free case consultation: 1-844-253-8919.
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